Hurricane Irma will be 'devastating' to US - Fema head

FEMA Prepared For Irma FEMA Hurricane Irma

On Thursday, U.S. President Donald Trump approved a major disaster declaration for the U.S. Virgin Islands, which makes residents eligible for FEMA and other government grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-priced loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs.

Evacuation orders have already been issued in parts of Miami, including Miami Beach, one of the country's most popular tourist areas. "We will do it quickly".

The storm surge also could be deadly across southern Florida and the Florida Keys during the next 36 hours. "We can not be there right after the storm", he said.

But several US Jewish organizations are pushing to reverse that rule in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. "This is why we ask and plead with people to be ready for multiple days, and unfortunately this is coming into reality".

With Irma set to hit Florida at the weekend, FEMA Administrator Brock Long warned at a news conference that parts of Florida would be out of electricity for days, if not longer, and more than 100,000 people might need shelter.

However, there are residents who have ignored evacuation warnings and stayed behind to ride the storm out, and Long had a very serious message for whoever remains in the Florida Keys.

Long also said it was "hard to say" how long the $15 billion approved by Congress for disaster relief will last.

Despite Broward, Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie all forecasted to experience severe wind and water damage from Hurricane Irma, they were not included on FEMA's list.

The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed $7.9 billion in Harvey disaster relief as warring Republicans and Democrats united to help victims of the storm in Texas and Louisiana.

An official with Office of Management and Budget told CNN Thursday that the latest estimate shows that FEMA has enough to get through Saturday.

The Florida Bar has raised the income qualifying cap for its online legal clinic, Florida Free Legal Answers, to ensure that Floridians can access the site and post questions related to Hurricane Irma. "I fully anticipate another supplemental bill to pay for both Harvey and Irma".

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