Hurricane Irma is nearing the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico as Floridians brace for the storm's approach further north.
As of 11 a.m. ET, the monster Category 5 storm's eye wall was 140 miles east of San Juan, Puerto Rico, with sustained winds of 185 mph and even higher gusts.
Going forward, the hurricane is forecast to move north of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands this afternoon, unleashing strong winds and heavy rain but not directly hitting the islands.
The forecast path takes Irma through the Bahamas Friday into Saturday morning and the storm is expected to curve north toward Florida by late Saturday afternoon.
Irma is expected to approach just south of Miami as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 145 mph. The storm will then move up the Florida coast as a Category 3 hurricane with winds of 125 mph.
Any shift to the east or west could significantly change how much wind damage parts of Florida face.
The Canadian model shows the storm moving well east of Florida with very little impact to the state.
As the storm nears Puerto Rico, some tourists and residents are stranded.
The governor said 700 people are in over 150 shelters throughout the island and officials said remote parts of the island might be left without power for up to eight months.
Holly Morris and Lauren Mayo, fitness bloggers visiting Puerto Rico, are holed up on the sixth floor of a villa. They told ABC News that the howling winds sound like a freight train going through a building. They said the rains and waves are so powerful that water is coming through windows and flooding their room.
A shopkeeper in Old San Juan told ABC News on Tuesday that his shelves were mostly full, and to him, it didn't seem as if all locals appeared to be taking the storm very seriously.
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Preparations are already underway in Florida, which could face "direct impacts," according to the National Hurricane Center, though it's too soon to tell for sure.
Mandatory evacuations have already been ordered for Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, and parts of Broward County. Many residents of the Keys didn't wait until Wednesday and instead headed out of the region Tuesday evening.
Some areas of Florida have already seen gas shortages, with the hashtag #nogas popping up on social media Tuesday. Long lines formed all over the state, not just in the Miami area. Stations in the Tampa area have run out and long lines were common at Orlando stations as well.
On "Good Morning America" today, Florida Gov. Rick Scott urged people to be prepared but to also take only what they will need.
"We don't see any widespread shortages and we don't believe that we're going to have them right now," Scott told "GMA." "I'm asking everybody as you get prepared, three days of water per person, three days of food. Take enough but take only what you need, don't take more."
ABC News was at a Miami megastore where people were lined up for hours hoping to get water. Even after store officials came outside to say there was no more water, the line continued to grow.
Another nearby store opened at 6 a.m. today, and by 6:08 a.m., the water was sold out.
Meanwhile, Tropical Storm Jose, which is following behind Irma on a similar path, is nearing hurricane strength. Jose officially became a tropical storm on Tuesday before noon with winds of 40 mph and is expected to become a Category 2 hurricane by the end of the week. It could skirt the most northeastern Caribbean islands, but so far it is not projected to be a threat to Puerto Rico or the U.S.
ABC News' Max Golembo, Linzie Janis and Josh Hoyos contributed to this report.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect that Hurricane Irma did not make landfall on Barbuda.