Helpful Smartphone Apps Aiding People Through Hurricane Irma

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — With Hurricane Irma showing her strength as she zeroes in on southwestern Florida, smartphone apps are helping people weather the storm.

While Slamming Cuba, Dangerous Hurricane Irma Sets Sites On Southwestern Florida

Zello Walkie Talkie was the number one free download in the iTunes App store late Saturday morning.

Using data networks or wi-fi, the app helps people stay in touch in places where signals are weak or nonexistent.

Gas Buddy is currently the number two most downloaded app.

With the help of crowdsourcing, it lets drivers know about prices, closest gas stations, and which stations actually have fuel.

With the window closing fast for anyone wanting to escape, Irma hurtled toward Florida with 130 mph winds Saturday on a shifting course that threatened the first direct hit on the Tampa area from a major hurricane in nearly a century.

Forecasters predicted Irma’s center would blow ashore Sunday and strike the Florida Keys, then hit southwestern Florida, move up the state’s Gulf Coast and plow into the Tampa Bay area.

(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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