Hurricane Irma updates: Gov. Scott activates more national guard members

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Max Garcia, of Miami, waits in a line since dawn to purchase plywood sheets at The Home Depot store in North Miami, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. Florida residents are preparing for the possible landfall of Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history.

KEY LARGO, Fla. (AP) — Coverage related to Hurricane Irma in Florida (all times local):

Anthony Carpanese, left, and Nick Molinaro load plywood in preparation for Hurricane Irma Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017 at Lowe’s in Jacksonville, Fla. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the Category 5 storm has winds of up to 185 mph (297 kph) as it approaches the Leeward Islands of the northeast Caribbean. Beatriz Bustamante and her dog Simon wait as Qawrence Symonette secures sheets of plywood on her car at The Home Depot store in North Miami, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. Florida residents are preparing for the possible landfall of Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history.Carla Perroni Aguilera of Miami Beach, Fla., holds a cart as her husband Ronald Aguilera and her father Joe Perroni load sheets of plywood at The Home Depot store in North Miami, Fla., Wednesday, Sept. 6, 2017. Florida residents are preparing for the possible landfall of Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history.

Updated 11:30 a.m.: Florida Gov. Rick Scott is activating an additional 900 members of the Florida National Guard to prepare for Hurricane Irma.

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Scott called up the additional guard members on Wednesday, a day after he had activated an initial 100 members. During a stop in the Florida Keys, Scott said that he still plans to another 6,000 National Guard members report to duty on Friday.

The governor warned that Irma is “bigger, faster and stronger” than Hurricane Andrew. Andrew pummeled south Florida 25 years ago and wiped out entire neighborhoods due to its ferocious winds.

During his remarks Scott acknowledged that state officials were aware of fuel shortages and were trying to help get gas into the region. The Florida Highway Patrol accompanied gasoline trucks into the Florida Keys on Tuesday night.

Helen Conklin carries sandbags as her husband, John Conklin, loads the car at Lealman Community Park, 3890 55th Ave. N. in St. Petersburg on Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017. The couple have lived in Florida since 1979 and say that the “No Name Storm” was the worst they have been through. “We’re gonna hold our butts and pray,” said Helen.Joseph, Jr., right, 15, of St. Petersburg, bends down to carry sandbags to his family’s vehicle at Lealman Community Park, in St. Petersburg, Fla., Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, as residents prepare for Hurricane Irma.

Updated 9:20 a.m.: Lawyers for a Florida man scheduled to be executed in October want a delay in last-minute court proceedings due to the threat of Hurricane Irma.

Attorney Martin McClain said in a motion filed Wednesday that he and other lawyers representing Michael Ray Lambrix live in the expected path of the Category 5 storm. He said the attorneys need time to help their families get ready. McClain in his motion said that the state is expected to oppose the delay.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Friday scheduled Lambrix’s execution for Oct. 5.

The 57-year-old Lambrix, also known as Cary Michael Lambrix, was convicted of the 1983 killings of Clarence Moore and Aleisha Bryant. Prosecutors say he killed them after an evening of drinking at his trailer near LaBelle, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) from Fort Myers.

An employee restocks bottled water on bare shelves as customers look on at a Publix grocery store, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Surfside, Fla. Wielding the most powerful winds ever recorded for a storm in the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Irma bore down Tuesday on the Leeward Islands of the northeast Caribbean on a forecast path that could take it toward Florida over the weekend. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)Customers purchase groceries at a local supermarket as they prepare for Hurricane Irma, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Hialeah, Fla. Wielding the most powerful winds ever recorded for a storm in the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Irma bore down Tuesday on the Leeward Islands of the northeast Caribbean on a forecast path that could take it toward Florida over the weekend.A shelf normally containing packaged water sits empty at a Piggly Wiggly store Tueday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Panama City, Fla. Store managers informed shoppers that more water will be delivered on Sept.6 in the morning a residents prepare for Hurricane Irma.A shelf normally containing packaged water is empty at a Piggly Wiggly store Tueday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Panama City, Fla. Store managers informed shoppers that more water will be delivered on Sept.6 in the morning a residents prepare for Hurricane Irma.

Updated 7:50 a.m.: Key West International Airport is preparing to close as Hurricane Irma approaches the island chain.

Officials said initially said the airport would close Wednesday night due to the Transportation Security Administration’s security checkpoint ceasing the screening of passengers. However, the TSA agreed to keep the checkpoint open through Thursday evening.

Three Delta flights to Atlanta are scheduled for Thursday, departing at 7:05 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 5:50 p.m. Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark said in a news release that all commercial flights will then be canceled until further notice.

General aviation flights will continue from Key West and the Florida Keys Marathon International Airport until conditions become unsafe to operate. However international general aviation flights will end Wednesday afternoon, when U.S. Customs and Border Protection ceases operations.

Updated 7:50 a.m.: President Donald Trump says his administration is closely watching Hurricane Irma.

On Twitter Wednesday morning, Trump says his “team, which has done, and is doing, such a good job in Texas, is already in Florida.” He adds: “No rest for the weary!”

In a subsequent statement on Twitter, Trump says “Hurricane looks like largest ever recorded in the Atlantic!”

Hurricane Irma is the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history. It made its first landfall in the islands of the northeast Caribbean early Wednesday.

It’s on a path toward Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly heading for Florida over the weekend.

Trump has declared emergencies in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Vehicles line up to get fuel at a Tom Thumb gas station in Shalimar, Fla., Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, ahead of a possible strike by Hurricane Irma.

Updated 7:10 a.m.: Expect to wait in line for gasoline in South Florida — if you can find a station that still has gas.

Lines stretched around 50 cars deep at a gas station in Cooper City, which is southwest of Fort Lauderdale, by 5:30 a.m. Wednesday. The station had been out of fuel on Tuesday night, but received an overnight delivery.

Workers at a station in Doral, near Miami, put yellow caution tape around pumps Wednesday morning after running out of gasoline. Local news outlets reported both long lines and stations that had no gas across South Florida.

Motorists head north on US Route 1 as Hurricane Irma moves its path in the northeast Caribbean, Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2017, in Key Largo, Fla. Wielding the most powerful winds ever recorded for a storm in the Atlantic Ocean, Hurricane Irma bore down Tuesday on the Leeward Islands of the northeast Caribbean on a forecast path that could take it toward Florida over the weekend.

Updated 3:20 a.m.: 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. On Wednesday morning it was about 40 miles (65 kilometers) north of Antigua.

People in South Florida raided store shelves, buying up water and other hurricane supplies. Long lines formed at gas stations and people pulled shutters out of storage and put up plywood to protect their homes and businesses.

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