(AP) French authorities have ordered inhabitants to remain confined to their house and not go out under any circumstances in the French Caribbean islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy because of Hurricane Irma.
The French ministry of Interior has issued the highest possible alert for both islands of French overseas because they appear to be in the middle of the path of the dangerous Category 5 storm.
Officials in the island chain south of the Florida mainland are expected to announce evacuations as Hurricane Irma moves west through the Caribbean toward the state.
Officials in the Florida Keys say they expect to announce a mandatory evacuation for visitors starting Wednesday and for residents starting Thursday. The Category 5 hurricane is expected to reach Florida by the weekend.