(Reuters/The Daily Caller) – Irma on Tuesday intensified into an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest advisory.
Hurricane Irma is about 270 miles (440 km) east of Antigua and packing maximum sustained winds of 175 mph (280 km/h), the Miami-based weather forecaster said.
Irma, which is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days, will move near or over portions of the northern Leeward Islands Tuesday night and early Wednesday, the NHC said.
Irma’s expected landfall comes hot on the heels of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey along the Texas coast last week.
Congress is expected to vote on a hurricane relief bill Wednesday, yet House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy floated the idea the aide package could be linked to the debt ceiling vote.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and the White House have pushed for Congress to conjoin the two measures, arguing lawmakers will need to act swiftly to ensure the government has the authorization to spend additional funds to help the Houston area.
(Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru)