Miami-Dade school, government closings announced ahead of Dorian as residents prepare

HAULOVER BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Even though no tropical storm watches or warnings have been issued for Miami-Dade County, officials stressed residents need to remain alert and vigilant about Hurricane Dorian’s unpredictable path.

“We’re not under a Hurricane or Tropical Storm Watch at this time. While that’s good news, it’s still way too early to let our guard down,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez during a news conference on Sunday.

Dorian has strengthened into a powerful Category 5 storm. Sunday’s 6 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center found the system is packing maximum sustained winds of 185 mph.

Since the storm has not begun to turn north as it continues to creep toward the Sunshine State, Gimenez said Miami-Dade residents could still feel its impact as early as Monday.

“With a monster hurricane like Dorian, small changes in the trajectory can have a major impact for us in terms of how we prepare,” he said.

Ana Rodriguez, who owns a nail shop, which is her main source of income, said she is not taking any chances as Dorian moves closer.

“I want to protect my business,” she said.

Rodriguez and her partner spent hours on Sunday boarding up their shop, as they contemplate an uncertain future regarding the storm.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said.

Late Sunday afternoon, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho gave an update on closings.

“We have decided, on the basis of three factors, to maintain all schools in Miami-Dade closed this Tuesday,” he said.

Later Monday night, M-DPS announced that schools will resume class on Wednesday.

County officials also advised residents to be aware of potential impacts related to Dorian, including storm surge, king tides and heavy flooding.

Time lapse photography showed the water continuously rising at the Haulover Marina on Sunday.

In case of flooding, Miami Beach and Sunny Isles Beach are giving out ​sandbags.

“We will tie up the bags and load them up. It’s a free service for residents,” said a Sunny Isles Beach employee.

Gimenez listed additional closures due to potential water danger.

“The captain of the port has ordered that PortMiami be closed to all vessel traffic, and the tunnel is being closed,” he said. “Bridges are being locked down, and that means boats will not be able to pass, but cars and trucks will be able to use the bridges.”

As officials continue to monitor Dorian’s progress, they’re also asking residents to do the same.

​”The message remains: prepare, wait and see,” said Gimenez.

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