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The lifeguards happened to drive by near 11th Street at a crucial moment Sunday, aiding people who had gone for a swim in the violently choppy water. Unfortunately in that process one of our trucks got stuck in the sand and we almost lost it to the tide, said Miami Beach Fire Chief Javier Otero. He said people tend to overestimate their swimming ability and that ignoring warnings puts his staff at risk. Towers successfully pulled out the Ocean Rescue truck from the small strip of tide-swept sand before it was too late.
South Florida officials were relieved Sunday as Tropical Storm Isaac began shifting west.
"We are lucky this is passing by quicker than we thought," Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said.
He said there would be trash collection on Monday but urged residents to wait until Monday morning to take out their bins.
A spokesman for the City of Miami Police said they would begin red light assessment. "In the perspective of the police department, thank God that the worst of the storm is over," he said. Police said there were no reports of any catastrophic problems.
The National Hurricane Center discontinued the hurricane watch for Miami-Dade County at 11 a.m. Miami-Dade and Broward remain under a coastal tropical storm warning, though.
"We prepared for the worst and for us it's a relief," Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said. "I don't think it's going to be too bad."
Meanwhile, lifeguards on 11th Street in Miami Beach had to rescue swimmers who didn't listen to warnings about avoiding the surf.
"Even under normal conditions people tend to oversestimate their swimming ability, so in these conditions, anybody that thinks they can come out here and swim safely is just very mistaken," said Javier Otero with the Miami Beach Fire Department.
As of 11 p.m., Isaac had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph as it moved west-northwest at 14 mph about 75 miles west-southwest of Key West and 510 miles southeast of the mouth of the MIssissippi River.
The effects of Tropical Storm Isaac were felt in South Florida as early as Sunday morning.
A tornado watch was canceled at 5 p.m. for Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Mainland Monroe County, according to the National Weather Service.
Miami-Dade officials said they were suspending public transportation as of noon Sunday due to deteriorating conditions.
"Wind gusts are really starting to pick up and are being consistent," Fernando Figueredo, Director of Communications at Miami-Dade County.
He said Miami Beach residents remained under a boil water advisory after a water main break Saturday and two additional breaks Sunday.
City of Miami officials Sunday said they were ready for the storm and prepared to begin the clean-up process on Monday.
"We believe we're going to to experience a lot of local flooding, also strong winds," Regalado said. He urged residents to stay indoors and off the streets.
According to Florida Power & Light, as of about 10 p.m. 9,730 people in Miami-Dade and 6,250 people in Broward had no power.
"Tropical Storm Isaac is producing very strong sustained winds, there will be some outages," said Eric Hofmeyer, a spokesperson for FPL. "But we are ready to respond."
Greg Brostowicz, a spokesperson for FPL said 2,000 out-of-state crews were making their way to Florida to aid local teams.
"We want to get as many trucks and crews into this to restore power as quickly and safely as possible," he said. "These strong squalls are starting to come in now."
Brostowicz said residents can call, visit their mobile-friendly website, Facebook page or Twitter feed to report outages or obtain information. He urged residents to call 911 or FPL if they see downed power lines.
"If they see power lines down, stay away, treat them as live," he said.
Though crews will work to restore power to homes as quickly as possible, Brostowicz said once winds get above 30 mph, it would no longer be safe for crews to work outside.
Sweetwater Mayor Manuel Marono said they were faring well so far and had not experienced any flooding. "We have a couple downed tree limbs and couple trees, no flooding whatsoever," he said.
Heavy rain and winds began pounding Miami-Dade and Broward Counties early in the day. Both counties remain under a tropical storm warning.
In Miami-Dade, sustained wind gusts of 35 to 45 mph began around 6 a.m. and are expected to last through 4 a.m. Monday. Gusts can reach up to 65 mph.
In Broward, sustained wind gusts of 30 to 40 mph began around 7 a.m. and are expected through 4 a.m. Monday. Gusts can reach up to 65 mph. About 5 to 8 inches of rain are expected through Monday.
On Saturday, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued an evacuation order for residents living in mobile parks and low-lying areas prone to flooding Saturday afternoon.
Public schools in Miami-Dade and Broward County were canceled Monday. All Miami-Dade Courts and Clerk of Courts' offices and the federal courthouses in Miami and Broward will also be closed Monday.
Miami-Dade Transit personnel, Metrobus, Metrorail and Metromover will be suspending operations at noon on Sunday until further notice.