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Hurricane Irma could affect Georgia next week

Hurricane Irma was upgraded to a Category 5 storm early Tuesday morning, but isn’t expected to hit the U.S. until Sunday.  Irma has since strengthened with winds up to 185 mph and gusts at 225 mph, Channel 2 Action News reported. 

And according to the latest forecast, South Carolina is directly in the storm’s path. 

The eye of Hurricane Irma was passing over the British Virgin Islands with max sustained winds at 185 mph Wednesday afternoon. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

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“This is now the strongest Atlantic hurricane in a decade,” Channel 2 Action News meteorologist Brad Nitz said Tuesday.

Irma hasn’t reached landfall, but it is approaching the northeast Caribbean on a path toward the United States, according to The Associated Press. 

The hurricane is near Guadeloupe and is expected to hit Anguilla by 8 a.m. Wednesday and pass just north of Puerto Rico by Thursday morning, according to Channel 2. The storm should go back to a Category 4 by Saturday before reaching the Florida Keys on Sunday morning, the station reported. 

“And everybody in the southeast needs to pay close attention to this system,” Channel 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan said.

States of emergency were declared in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and all of Florida, the AP reported.

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It is unclear how the hurricane will affect metro Atlanta weather. 

“The best we can tell you now is that there is the possibility for rain/wind impacts on Georgia as early as about Monday of next week,” Monahan said.

The hurricanehas, however, has affected Savannah College of Art and Design students. 

Just hours after Hurricane Irma was upgraded, SCAD announced it would postpone the first week of classes at all of its campuses. 

“Due to the magnitude of the storm and the uncertainty of Hurricane Irma's path, SCAD will postpone the start of classes for Savannah, Atlanta and eLearning for one week,”  the school said in a statement on its website. “... SCAD will continue to work with local, state and regional authorities to monitor the storm and prepare resources.” 

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