FLL closes Monday as Broward residents brace for Dorian

DEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Residents in Broward’s coastal and inland areas under a Tropical Storm Watch due to Hurricane Dorian have wasted no time in preparing for the massive Category 5 storm’s might.

Sunday night, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport announced it will close at noon on Monday until further notice due to the threat of tropical storm-force winds.

“It is what it is,” said one passenger. “We can’t control it.”

“I had a later flight today that was canceled,” said another passenger. “Had to make an earlier flight to get out, so hopefully I’m one of the last flights out of here.”

Deerfield Beach’s seaside bars were packed Sunday night, just like they would be on Labor Day weekend.

But many patrons were local residents attempting to calm their nerves.

“We just all came out just to relax and drink and kind of unwind. It’s a stressful situation,” said resident Courtney Harbison.

And because Dorian’s outer bands are approaching, at these bars, the last call for the night might be the last call for the next few days.

7News cameras captured an ideal beach day on Deerfield Beach. Beachgoers have been able to enjoy the sand and surf, because at home they have everything they need to ride out the massive, unpredictable storm.

“We’ve pretty much got all the necessities. We got the generator, gas, food, canned food,” said resident Riley Brodrick. “It’s better to be safer than sorry, of course.”

“We’re prepared. We’re Floridians. We know what we’re doing,” said resident Melissa DeCarvalho. “We’ve just gotta live life.”

“You never know. These things are crazy,” said resident Kevin Blakely. “It’s moving slow. That’s not a good thing.”

An employee at Cafe Ibizia, located along Las Olas, said their doors would most likely remain open all day Monday.

“Who knows? If it’s not going to rain then, yes,” said employee Julianna Silvera. “If it’s going to be like this, I think we’re going to have people.”

Two brothers hanging out on the shoreline Monday morning said it’s a tradition they do before every storm.

“We did it for Irma and all the other hurricanes,” said one of the brothers.

“We’re definitely going to be safe,” said his brother.

Over the next two days, tropical strength winds of more than 70 mph could be whipping through Broward’s beaches.

Many beachside businesses are boarded up and surrounded by sandbags, and that’s because Dorian could push in some storm surge just as South Florida is experiencing a king tide cycle.

Sandbags also sat outside businesses in Fort Lauderdale Beach. Sunday evening, people were out and about, and that’s because they’re aware the weather will soon worsen.

“We’re taking as many precautions as we possibly can, and we’re locked, loaded, ready to  go, folks,” said a man walking on the sidewalk along A1A.

In Hollywood, the Boardwalk was still bustling on Sunday, but the crowded restaurants will close if and when the weather worsens.

“We’re waiting until the last minute to see exactly what’s going to happen, if we’re going to close or not,” said a business owner. “Hopefully we don’t have to close.”

What’s closing for sure, though, is Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale. All non Coast Guard-approved operations were halted at 6 p.m.

Broward students who spent their weekend enjoying the last good beach days before they feel Dorian’s outer bands, won’t return to school for a few days. Broward County schools will be closed Monday for Labor Day and on Tuesday as well because of the likely severe weather.

Broward County courts will remain closed on Tuesday, as well as several city offices across the county, including Fort Lauderdale.

County leaders sent out a letter advising residents to refrain from putting out trash or recycling bags on Monday or Tuesday, since they will not be collected.

County leaders said Dorian is expected to spare Broward a direct hit, but they stressed this is not a storm to take lightly.

“I’m a little bit nervous, yeah, but I guess just ride the wave,” said Deerfield Beach bar patron John Tuluck.

FLL officials said they will assess the situation and see how the winds are before they reopen. They urged travelers to contact their airlines to check their revised flight status.

As of Sunday evening, there are three special needs and one children’s special needs shelter now open in Broward County. Their locations are not made public, but residents looking to head there for the next 24 hours can reach out and register with the county.

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