Hurricane Irma live updates: Eye will land soon, with South Florida under flood warning

After long days of anxious preparations and waiting, Hurricane Irma is arriving in South Florida on Sunday morning, still a dangerous Category 4 storm even though Miami-Dade and Broward counties will be spared the worst. The Florida Keys, however, will not be so lucky: Irma’s eye is expected to hit Key West before moving northwest up Florida’s Gulf Coast. Hundreds of thousands of people are already without power, and dangerous flooding and tornadoes are possible.

Stay with the Miami Herald for all the latest news on Sunday.

Latest advisory shows Irma will land soon

5 a.m.: Irma is about to move over the lower Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane, according to the latest National Hurricane Center advisory, which predicted landfall on or near Key West in the coming hours. Landfall is official the moment the center of the hurricane’s eye passes over land.

“Do not venture outside when the calm eye of the hurricane passes over, as dangerous winds will return very quickly when the eye moves away,” the advisory warned.

— PATRICIA MAZZEI

Flood warning issued for most of southern peninsula

4:40 a.m.: The National Weather Service in Miami issued a flood warning for most Florida’s southern peninsula, citing increased rainfall from Irma.

The warning, in effect until 4:45 p.m., is for “urban areas and small streams” in Miami-Dade, Broward and Collier counties, and for the southern portion of Hendry County.

Up to 8 inches of rain have already fallen in some areas, with 8-15 inches of rain expected in most places, and more than 20 inches possible in some locations.

Expected to flood are Miami, Hialeah, Fort Lauderdale, Homestead, Pembroke Pines, Hollywood and Naples. Some streets in downtown Miami and Miami Beach already looked like shallow streams in the wee hours Sunday.

“Turn around, don`t drown when encountering flooded roads,” the flood warning read. “Most flood deaths occur in vehicles.”

— PATRICIA MAZZEI

South Florida power outages climb

4 a.m.: Power outages steadily increased Sunday morning as Irma winds picked up across South Florida. Nearly 282,00 Florida Power & Light customers were in the dark: 184,050 in Miami-Dade, 73,400 in Broward and 24,410 in West Palm Beach. All 29,000 customers for Keys Energy Services, a lower Keys utility, lost power by about 11 p.m. Saturday, the company said.

— RENE RODRIGUEZ AND PATRICIA MAZZEI