As Hurricane Irma gets closer and closer to southern Florida and the mainland United States, many are wondering if Miami evacuations will be increased. The storm is currently located at latitude 20.7 N, longitude 70.4 W as of 2 p.m. It’s moving west-northwest at 16 mph and is expected to continue this course of the next couple of days, the National Hurricane Center reported. Maximum sustained winds are at 175 mph, a drop from its original 185 mph, but still at catastrophic levels. Irma is forecast to either be a Category 4 or 5 over the next couple days.
Here’s what we know so far.
Miami-Dade County Is Evacuating 150,000 out of 2.7 Million Residents So Far
On September 4, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency to prepare for Irma. Since then, things have changed quickly.
Officials have told residents to obey all evacuation orders. So far in Miami-Dade County, the following evacuation orders have been issued starting Thursday morning:
- Residents living in barrier islands and low-lying areas
- All of the Zone A evacuation area
- Barrier islands in Zone B
- This includes residents of: Bal Harbour, Bay Harbour Islands, Golden Beach, Indian Creek Village, Miami Beach, North Bay Village, Sunny Isles Beach and Surfside
This covers about 150,000 people out of 2.7 million residents of Miami-Dade county. The county mayor has left open the possibility that the number being told to evacuate might increase as more information is available about the storm’s path, ABC News reported.
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine told CBS Miami about those who wanted to ignore mandatory evacuation orders:
I’ll do anything in my power to convince them this is a very serious storm. This is a nuclear hurricane. They should leave the beach, they must leave the beach.”
This is Miami-Dade County’s first mandatory evacuation in 12 years. The University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus is evacuating for the first time ever.
To know if your area is being evacuated in Miami, type your address into the web link here. Zone A includes most of Coastal Miami-Dade, and Zone B includes Miami Beach.
To help with evacuations, all weight and driver restrictions have been rescinded on the highways, and all tolls have been suspended. Sen. Marco Rubio said that all preparation and evacuations should be finished by Friday.
Gov. Scott said they are moving fuel into the state to address the shortages that many have noticed. Only take as much fuel as you need, and use apps like GasBuddy or Waze to help you determine what stations have fuel.
Evacuation routes for Miami and Miami-Dade County can be viewed in the image below or by clicking on the link: Florida Division of Emergency Management.
Eight shelters in Miami-Dade county are listed below. Only Darwin Fuchs is pet friendly.
- South Miami Senior High: 6856 SW 53rd St, Miami, FL 33155
- North Miami Beach Senior High: 1247 NE 167th St, Miami, FL 33162
- Felix Varela Senior High: 15255 SW 96th St, Miami, FL 33196
- Darwin Fuchs Pavilion: Miami-Dade County Fair Expo Center (pet friendly): 10901 Southwest 24th Street, Miami, FL, United States, 33165
- Miami Carol City Senior: 3301 Miami Gardens Dr, Miami Gardens, 33056
- Miami Central Senior: 1781 NW 95 St, Miami, 33147
- North Miami Senior: 13110 NE 8th Ave, North Miami, 33161
- TERRA Environmental, 11005 SW 84 St., 33173
Details About Hurricane Irma
According to the 11 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, the threat of impacting Florida is continuing to increase. A hurricane watch has been issued for south Florida, the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, and Florida Bay. By later today, this watch area will be expanded most likely.
Irma’s track doesn’t tell you enough. Check out this map for the probably of tropical storm force winds in your area:
The National Hurricane Center shared this graphic showing the most likely arrival time for tropical storm force winds. This isn’t the worst of the hurricane, it’s just the time you’ll start feeling the hurricane. Hurricane force winds will extend outward about 60 miles from the center of a hurricane, while tropical storm force winds extend outward up to 185 miles from the center.
For south Florida, that looks like Saturday morning or Saturday evening at the latest.
As of 11:30 a.m., according to the NHC, the following watches and warnings had been issued for the South Florida area.
CHANGES TO WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
– A Storm Surge Watch and Hurricane Watch have been issued for Coastal Broward, Coastal Collier, Coastal Miami-Dade, Coastal Palm Beach, Far South Miami-Dade, Inland Collier, Inland Miami-Dade, Mainland Monroe, and Metro Miami-Dade
– A Hurricane Watch has been issued for Glades, Hendry, Inland Broward, Inland Palm Beach, Metro Broward, and Metro Palm Beach
* CURRENT WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
– A Storm Surge Watch and Hurricane Watch are in effect for Coastal Broward, Coastal Collier, Coastal Miami-Dade, Coastal Palm Beach, Far South Miami-Dade, Inland Collier, Inland Miami-Dade, Mainland Monroe, and Metro Miami-Dade
– A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Glades, Hendry, Inland Broward, Inland Palm Beach, Metro Broward, and Metro Palm Beach
Hurricane Irma is forecast to move west northwest across the
Bahamas today and into Friday, before impacting South Florida this
weekend and into early next week. The main concerns for South Florida
at this time are the potential for destructive winds and life-
threatening storm surge. The main window of concern for Hurricane Irma
impacts is early Saturday morning through Monday.
Additional concerns exist for flooding rains, isolated tornadoes,
significant beach erosion and surf, coastal flooding, and life-
threatening rip currents.
At this time, all interests in South Florida should continue to
closely monitor the progression of Hurricane Irma. Continue to remain
informed with the latest information and forecasts.
All interests in South Florida are urged to complete hurricane
preparations by the end of the day Friday.
Read the full warning, including potential impacts, here.
Residents are urged to be vigilant and stay tuned to local weather forecasts.