Miami-Dade County Extends Curfew Until Further Notice

Gov. Scott warned of dangerous storm surge of between 6 and 12 feet across parts of Florida

After battering the Florida Keys early Sunday, Irma continues its path through the Sunshine State. Officials urged people to remain inside their homes if they have not evacuated.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has extended the daily curfew for the county from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. until further notice. Residents should stay in their homes between those times, officials said.

Mayor Gimenez issued the curfew "in order for County personnel to begin damage assessment and the clearing of roadways," according to official statement.

"For those who must venture out during non-curfew hours, please remember that inoperative traffic signals should be treated as four-way stops. Additionally, residents are being warned that all downed power lines should be treated as live power lines," the statement continued.

Earlier Sunday, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced that all Miami-Dade County Public Schools will remain closed until further notice in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Gov. Rick Scott previously ordered all public K-12 schools, colleges, universities and state offices to close until Monday in anticipation of the storm.

President Donald Trump has declared a major disaster in the state of Florida, making federal aid available to people affected by Irma in nine counties already hit by the storm.

The federal help includes temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans for uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover in the counties of Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pinellas, and Sarasota.

Federal funding also is available to governments and non-profit organizations for emergencies in all 67 Florida counties. For the first 30 days, that money will cover 100 percent of the costs of some emergency responses.

Asked on MSNBC about a woman who said she was going to wait out the storm in her East Naples home, Scott reiterated his warning, saying, "We've never seen" storm surge of 15 feet.

"If all that water flows into your house and then flows out, you will not survive it. It's as simple as that," he said.

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., whose district on the Atlantic Coast was no longer in the forecasted path of the eye of the storm, warned that the "grizzled bunch" of Floridians who live there should still take the dangers of the storm seriously.

"This is really still not a false alarm and people really need to understand that. They need to realize we are still going to experience between 10 and 20 inches of rain, plus storm surge and high winds," Wasserman Schultz told NBC 6.

In the Keys, over 460 inmates were bussed to Palm Beach County. Despite the fact their facility was built to withstand a Category 5 storm, they did not want to take a chance with the recent change in Irma's track, officials said.

Gov. Scott also warned of dangerous storm surge of between 6 and 12 feet across parts of Florida.

"This will cover your house," Scott said.

Meanwhile, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said a man was killed in a single-car crash in Marathon Saturday afternoon.

"The situation is so grave that the Florida Keys is considering moving out its Emergency Operations Center staff," Congressman Carlos Curbelo said.

He said the sheriff has evacuated inmates from the jail because they could not guarantee their safety.

Florida International University is a designated shelter for people from the Keys.

"Hurricane Andrew is one of the worst storms in the history of Florida," Gov. Scott said. "This is much worse and more devastating on its current path."

Coastal Circulation and Storm Surge Model + SWAN Wave Model: The Coastal Emergency Risks Assessment (CERA) group delivers storm surge and wave predictions for impending or active tropical cyclones in the United States. Updated Sept. 10 at 2 p.m.

With a hurricane warning in effect and evacuations ordered in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties, Scott said residents throughout the state should be ready to evacuate.

"Look at the size of this storm, it's huge, it is wider than our entire state, it could cause major and life threatening impacts on both coasts, coast to coast," Scott said. "Regardless of which coast you live on, be prepared to evacuate."

In Miami-Dade, a mandatory evacuation order is in effect for all mobile homes, Zone A (which includes Key Biscayne), the barrier islands of Zone B (which includes Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands, Biscayne Park, Golden Beach, Indian Creek Village, Miami Beach, North Bay Village, Sunny Isles Beach and Surfside) as well as portions of Zone C. Miami-Dade officials also advised residents living in low-lying areas to evacuate.

"That's the largest evacuation order that I can remember in Miami-Dade history," Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said at a news conference Friday.

"Miami-Dade will have major hurricane impacts with deadly storm surge, deadly storm surge and life threatening winds," Scott said. "This is serious and we can't take chances."

City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado declared a local state of emergency on Friday.

In Broward County, mandatory evacuations were in effect for anyone living east of Federal Highway, including barrier islands. The county's emergency operations center is running 24-hours a day.

"Broward, please be ready, set, safe for this potentially dangerous storm, please take this very seriously, as we are looking at some very very high winds and a lot of rain," Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is closed through Sunday. All bridges to the mainland are locked in the down position.

Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale was closed to inbound ships on Friday.

"We've been preparing for three or four days now. The city of Fort Lauderdale has been through this before and we're gonna make it through this, we're ready," Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler said Thursday. "We're going through and done a lot of preparation. The city is ready and we feel very well prepared."

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has prepared search and rescue teams for possible deployment, Scott said. Thirteen helicopters and more than 1,000 technical highwater vehicles are on standby ready to be deployed, he said.

U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio also advised residents throughout Florida to be prepared with at least 72 hours worth of supplies.

They also cautioned that FEMA pre-positioned supplies but may not be able to get to some areas until the storm has cleared.

"If we get hit by a Category 4 storm in a direct hit on any community in Florida and it continues to travel through the spine of the state or even up I-95, it is going to take FEMA a couple days to get here, because it may not be safe for them to travel even if the supplies are pre-positioned," Rubio said. "So people need to be thinking along those lines. That's the worst case scenario."

"I think we're going to be a lot better prepared, but the folks, individuals have to do their part, and that is, don't take chances," Nelson said.

Scott said the state needs a total of 17,000 volunteers to help. Those who wish to volunteer can visit volunteerflorida.org.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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