If you live in Florida and haven’t gotten out…get out NOW, especially if you are in Southwest Florida! Otherwise, I hope you have a nice ‘Plan B’ in mind because Hurricane Irma is going to be a doozy.
Irma is projected to hit Florida along the south coast on Sunday around 8am after crossing over the Middle Keys. Thousands of people have been asked to evacuate, especially those in Miami-Dade County. In fact, it’s being called the ‘greatest evacuation in history’. Time will only tell, if that remains a fact.
In the meantime, forecasters are increasingly concerned about flooding, with high storm surge and heavy rain expected and likely to occur at high tide in vulnerable places like Miami Beach. The storm is projected to turn North on Saturday with punishing winds reaching up to 180 mph and extending at least 70 miles from the center of the hurricane storm or the eye, which itself is about 40-45 miles in diameter.
All of South Florida remains under a hurricane warning, with evacuation orders for Monroe and parts of Miami-Dade and Broward counties, that includes 680,000 people just in Miami-Dade.
H/T Zero Hedge:
In what spokesman Michael Hernandez describes as “the biggest evacuation in history,” Miami-Dade has expanded its mandatory evacuations orders to Zone C, forcing over 650,000 to leave Florida in a “traffic nightmare” as Cat-5 Hurricane Irma bears down.
An earlier order included just Miami Beach, other low-lying and barrier island areas and all mobile-home residents, but as the storm grew in intensity and the cone of uncertainty narrowed, County Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued the order this afternoon expanded to Zone C.
The expansion now covers Zone B, which encompasses Brickell, Miami’s downtown area and South-Dade, including parts of Cutler Bay, Florida City and Homestead. Evacuation orders also touch Zone C, which includes parts of Coral Gables, South Miami, Miami Shores and North Miami Beach.
More than 650,000 residents are reportedly subject to the mandatory evacuation order – that’s up from the 200,000 who were asked to leave to areas outside of evacuation Zones A and B, Wednesday.
As thousands jammed roads like I-95 and headed North…out of town.
Many residents began their journey with some of their prized possessions like boats, trailers, and jetskis as they headed out of Florida.
Of course, as thousands evacuated from Florida and headed North to get out of the path of Hurricane Irma, several motorists learned quickly that gas was a ‘hot’ commodity as several became stranded along the roads and highways.
As AP reports on resident exclaiming:
“There was no gas and it’s gridlock. People are stranded on the sides of the highway,” she said.
“It’s 92 degrees out and little kids are out on the grass on the side of the road. No one can help them.”
As lines at gas stations were evident everywhere…
…some motorists were the lucky one’s to still get gas as many gas stations started putting up yellow construction tape to show they were out of gas as the demands increased with thousands evacuating Florida and heading North.
Irma’s eventual path and Florida’s fate depends on when and how sharp the powerful hurricane takes a right turn, National Weather Service Director Louis Uccellini said.