MIAMI (WSVN) - Evacuation orders for many areas of Miami-Dade County were issued, Wednesday night, leaving residents with a serious decision to make: leave or prepare and stay.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez made evacuation announcements on Wednesday evening, urging residents who have yet to make preparations ahead of Hurricane Irma to do so swiftly.
Residents and visitors to Miami-Dade’s barrier islands and mobil homeowners were the first to be given evacuation orders ahead of Irma’s expected heavy rainfall.
“Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands, Golden Beach, Indian Creek Village, Miami Beach,” said Gimenez as he listed cities in Evacuation Zone A. “North Miami Beach, North Bay Village, Sunny Isles Beach, Surfside, And I know I didn’t say Key Biscayne. Key Biscayne is in Zone A.”
In Miami-Dade County, there are five color-coded evacuation zones. Starting with A, the red zone encompasses areas along Biscayne Bay.
In Zone B, the orange zone includes areas along the Florida’s Turnpike Extension near Homestead that have been ordered to evacuate.
Shelters have begun opening with additional shelters, opening their doors on Thursday, but the mayor stresses they should be used only as a last resort, as Irma’s impact far beyond South Florida.
“Aa storm this size that could effect statewide, and everyone must be prepared,” said Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Residents remain busy, however, as they prepare their homes before Irma and its uncertain impact.
“It’s hectic,” said resident Christina Perez. “Everybody’s on the run. There’s not enough supplies for everybody.
At gas stations and supermarkets, there have been shortages and short tempers.
“Stress is high,” said a woman.
Publix stores have been doing what they can to restock essential supplies.
“It really is all hands on deck and trying to help our stores so they can help our community,” said Director of Media and Community Relations Maria Brous.
A tip for those without water bottles: instead of driving from store to store, turn on your tap and fill up bottles in your home before the storm.
Regarding gas shortages, the governor says he’s trying to streamline fuel delivery.
For those who decide to leave South Florida, the mayor said don’t wait long. “We do not want to see you in a car, in the middle of a hurricane,” said Gimenez. “We expect traffic situations going up the state.”
Thursday afternoon, University of Miami officials confirmed its Coral Gables campus will be completely evacuated by Friday evening. Remaining students will be taken to an off-campus American Red Cross shelter in Southwest Miami-Dade.
Due to widespread evacuation zones, officials encourage you to check the county’s website,using your address to see what zone you’re in.
Copyright 2018 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.