Hold on Miami. Worst of Irma is almost over

Hold on, Miami. Hurricane Irma’s most brutal winds are nearly done.

Hurricane-force gusts should continue over the next three to four hours, said National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Fisher. After that, conditions should begin to ease as Irma’s eyewall, now over Collier County, continues moving north. But dangerous tropical storm gusts are still possible.

“We’re still experiencing very strong winds and we will probably will for a few more hours,” Fisher said at 4:30 p.m. “But after three to four hours, we’ll start to see improving conditions.”

But even with winds easing, gusts will likely continue.

“As the bands on the back side continue to spiral up, we can have some very strong wind gusts. So I don’t think it’s safe to say the worst is over,” he said.

With heavy flooding and downed power lines, Fisher warned that going outside remains a bad idea until at least Monday.

“We’ll still have tropical storm force winds and with all the power outages, we would still not recommend venturing outside. Everyone is better off waiting until tomorrow.”