"The threat of direct hurricane impacts in Florida over the weekend and early next week continues to increase," stated the latest National Hurricane Center report at 5 AM on Thursday.
Two Florida nuclear reactors in the path of the storm are on standby for shutdown.
Areas of the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and Haiti all fall in the expected hurricane path prior to its arrival in Florida, according to the latest updates from the NHC. Cuba is also under hurricane watch.
St. Martin and the island of Barbuda were widely reported to have suffered extreme damage as the Category 5 storm impacted the islands earlier in the week.