Mandatory evacuations, school closures due to Hurricane Irma to begin Wednesday in Monroe County

KEY WEST, FLA. (WSVN) - The Monroe County Schools superintendent has announced that schools will be closed from Wednesday until further notice, while county officials also ordered mandatory evacuations.

Superintendent Mark Porter made the school closures announcement in a press release, Tuesday, also adding that all meetings, including a school board meeting scheduled for Thursday, have been postponed until further notice.

Porter has requested that residents take this opportunity to prepare in case Hurricane Irma hits South Florida.

Along with the school closures, Monroe County officials issued a mandatory evacuation notice for visitors, beginning at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Officials also issued a mandatory evacuation for residents, beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday. “If ever there was a storm to take seriously in the Keys, this is it,” Monroe County Emergency Management Director Martin Senterfitt said in a news release. “The sooner people leave, the better.”

Monroe County is also closing all of its government offices and county parks on Wednesday, while essential county employees, emergency management and fire rescue crews will be working.

The Monroe County Emergency Operation Center also opened at noon, Tuesday.

Key West residents could be seen gathering supplies for the storm, Tuesday afternoon.

One family, the Lynns, came from Texas to escape Hurricane Harvey, and are now helping out in South Florida.

“That’s what God tells us to do,” said Valerie Lynn.

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