Tracking Hurricane Irma

ABC NEWS (WOLO)– South Carolina Emergency officials are keeping a close eye on the latest forecast for Hurricane Irma.

Officials are asking you to be prepared, put a plan in place, but not panic.

ABC Columbia Meteorologists say the track is still uncertain, in terms of the potential impact, on South Carolina.

The hurricane is forecast to move north of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands Wednesday afternoon, unleashing strong winds and heavy rain but not directly hitting the islands.

By Sunday morning, Irma will be approaching mainland Florida and the Florida Keys.

Preparations are already underway in Florida, which could face “direct impacts,” according to the NHC, though it’s too soon to tell for sure. The official NHC path shows Irma will travel straight up the middle of the state.

But the latest computer models, which project possible paths for the storm, show Irma could move further to the east, threatening the Carolinas and the East Coast.

Mandatory evacuations have already been ordered for Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys. Evacuations for visitors are required beginning Wednesday morning while residents must evacuate starting Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Many residents of the Florida Keys didn’t wait until Wednesday and instead headed out of the region Tuesday evening.