MIAMI — The Latest on Hurricane Irma and its effects on Florida (all times local):
Florida Gov. Rick Scott says at least 76,000 people are without power as Irma unleashes winds and rain on the state.
Scott said Saturday night that the outages expected to grow as Irma moves closer to the state.
He warned people that the storm is life-threatening.
More than 50,000 people in Florida are seeking shelter in schools, community centers and churches as Hurricane Irma nears the state.
The government-sponsored shelters were open Saturday as officials warned 6.3 million Floridians to evacuate. The storm was expected to make landfall in Florida on Sunday. Those with nowhere to turn headed to the shelters while others sought lodging at hotels or with friends and family.
Red Cross shelter coordinator Steve Bayer said most people at shelters are grateful and happy.
Steve and Judith Smith of Orlando fled their mobile home and wound up at their local middle school after all the nearby hotels were sold out.
Officials in the Florida Keys are evacuating some 460 inmates and 125 corrections officers from a jail on Stock Island to a facility in Palm Beach County.
Spokeswoman Becky Herrin said in a news release that Sheriff Rick Ramsey made the decision Friday night because of the changing path of Hurricane Irma. The jail on Stock Island, which is near Key West on the lower end on the island chain.
The inmates and staff were loaded onto buses early Saturday for the trip north.
Herrin said the jail is built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.
Ramsey says “moving this many inmates this quickly is a tough job,” adding they “got on the road without incident.”
Gov. Rick Scott is urging anyone living in an evacuation zone in southwest Florida to leave by noon as the threat of Hurricane Irma has shifted west.
The storm is “going to go faster than you are,” Scott said Saturday morning. “These winds are coming.”
Scott said 25,000 people in Florida have already lost electricity as feeder bands have begun hitting the area.
The governor also warned of dangerous storm surge of between 6 feet (2 meters) and 12 feet (4 meters) across parts of Florida.
“This will cover your house,” Scott said.
The forecast for Hurricane Irma’s path has shifted to the southwest of the heavily populated Miami metro area as time runs out to evacuate.
The enormous storm regained Category 5 status late Friday as winds hit 160 mph (260 kph). Forecasters expect the storm to be near the Florida Keys on Sunday morning and approach the state’s southwest coast by that afternoon.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said people who didn’t leave the state Friday night would have to ride out the storm at their own risk.
The governor urged everybody in the Keys, where forecasters expect the storm to hit first, to get out.
In one of the country’s largest evacuations, about 5.6 million people in Florida — more than one-quarter of the state’s population — were ordered to leave, and another 540,000 were ordered out on the Georgia coast.