Floridians hoping for the best, preparing for the worst as Irma approaches

With Hurricane Irma slamming the Caribbean Islands as a Category 5 hurricane, thousands of Floridians are scrambling to get out of the state, before it's too late.

Irma has brought torrential rain, destructive winds, and dangerous storm surge to the Central Caribbean, and is expected to hit Florida by the weekend. Already, the mayor of Miami-Dade County has issued mandatory evacuations for hundreds of thousands of people in South Florida.

Many people in the area are fleeing. Some by car, and others by plane. For Maria Paredes, who landed in Phoenix Wednesday night, her return flight to Miami on Saturday has already been canceled.

"I was already told that flights were going to be canceled," said Paredes. "So instead, I have to go to Memphis, where I have to work all of next week."

Paredes, however, remains optimistic that Irma will steer away, hoping it takes a right turn and goes into the Atlantic Ocean. For some Floridians who have experienced other hurricanes in the past, however, they are terrified of that Irma may become the biggest of them all.