Updated: 5:45 p.m. ET

(Bloomberg) -- Irma swept over islands in the Caribbean andbarreled toward Puerto Rico with Florida in its sights as the Category 5hurricane threatens to become the most expensive storm in U.S.history.

The threat of a strike in Florida over the weekend and earlynext week has increased, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said. Hurricane watchescould be issued for parts of the Florida Keys and the Floridapeninsula on Thursday. Barclays Plc has estimated insuredlosses in a worst-case scenario from the storm at $130 billion.

'Significant threat'


“The chances for this missing the U.S. are going way down,” saidRick Knabb, hurricane expert with the Weather Channel in Atlantaand until last year the director of the National Hurricane Center.“This is a very significant threat to Florida and the southeastU.S.”

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