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Hurricane Irma Florida shelter
Evacuees stand in line to enter the Germain Arena, which is being used as a fallout shelter, in advance of Hurricane Irma, in Estero, Fla., Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

6.5M evacuated, 70K in shelters; Fla. gov. 'this is clearly a life-threatening situation'



Hours before Hurricane Irma is expected to hit the Florida Keys and move northwest, thousands of Floridians evacuate their homes, according to our local affiliate WJLA.

As of early Saturday evening, more than 6.5 million Floridians had been ordered to evacuate.

There are more than 385 shelters are open in every county that is in the path of Hurricane Irma, and approximately 70,000 Floridians using those services.

"Everyone in Florida needs to find a safe place to go," Florida Governor Rick Scott emphasized on Saturday. Additional shelters will be opening on Saturday night.

Despite the size of the storm, state authorities are confident in their "aggressive" response preparations.

Search and rescue missions are already staged and the U.S. Coast Guard has deployed resources to help.

Additionally, emergency food and water have been prepositioned to be dispersed to impacted areas.

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