GETTYSatellite imagery of potentially catastrophic Category 5 storm Hurricane Irma
Some experts warn Irma's characteristics mirror those of 1960’s Hurricane Donna which left a death toll of almost 400 and destroyed tens of thousands of homes as it swept along the Atlantic coast from the southern tip of Florida to New England in the north.
And as Hurricane Irma threatens to bring devastation to huge swathes of the US East Coast, it's feared Irma could be even worse than Donna.
Deadly Donna was only a Category 4 storm with maximum wind speeds of around 160mph whereas Irma has already a potentially catastrophic Category 5 hurricane packing sustained winds of 185mph and more.
A number of models put Irma on track to hit Florida before moving north into Georgia.Related articles
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Everyone along the coast should start preparing - not panicking
East Coast Tropics
But other projections put Hurricane Irma making landfall around North and South Carolina before heading north to hit New York City.
And some forecasters are warning everyone living along the coast to start preparing for its arrival.
Computer model analysts East Coast Tropics said: “Everyone along the coast should start preparing - not panicking.”
Hurricane Irma's power is now so immense it has now started to register on