In all-caps tweet, National Weather Service urgently warns Florida Keys to evacuate

In this geocolor image GOES-16 satellite image taken Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, at 11:45 UTC, sunlight, from the right, illuminates Hurricane Irma as the storm approaches Cuba and Florida. Cuba evacuated tourists from beachside resorts and Floridians emptied stores of plywood and bottled water after Hurricane Irma left at least 20 people dead and thousands homeless on a devastated string of Caribbean islands and spun toward Florida for what could be a catastrophic blow this weekend.  (NOAA via AP)
In this satellite image taken Friday, sunlight, from the right, illuminates Hurricane Irma as it approaches Cuba and Florida. –NOAA via AP

The National Weather Service is not mincing words when it comes to the threat posed by Hurricane Irma.

On Friday evening, the service’s Key West account posted the following all-caps warning to residents of the Florida Keys: “This is as real as it gets. Nowhere in the Florida Keys will be safe. You still have time to evacuate.”

“Catastrophic, life-threatening wind and storm surge impacts expected in the Florida Keys Saturday night and Sunday,” the service wrote in an accompanying graphic.

The hurricane has already claimed 22 lives in the Caribbean. It was expected to regain Category 5 status as it approaches Key West.