Photo: U.S. Navy|
Photo: U.S. Navy|
September 07, 2017 04:26 PM
MIAMI (AP) - South Florida officials are expanding evacuation orders as Hurricane Irma approaches, telling more than a half-million people to seek safety inland.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez has announced evacuation orders for downtown Miami and other parts of the city, plus southern parts of the county. The expanded evacuation area also includes Homestead, Coral Gables, South Miami, Miami Shores and North Miami Beach.
County officials had already ordered evacuations Wednesday for Miami Beach and the other barrier islands.
The total population for the affected communities is nearly 700,000 people, though the evacuation zones don't always include entire cities. Miami-Dade County's population is about 2.7 million.
Gov. Scott to people defying evacuations: LEAVE!
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has a stark warning for anyone who wants to defy a mandatory evacuation order ahead of Hurricane Irma. He says: "If you live in any evacuation zones and you're still at home, LEAVE!"
Scott said he "cannot stress this enough. Do not ignore evacuation orders. You rebuild your home ... you cannot recreate your family."
And this: "Do not try to ride out this storm," he says. The time to leave is now, because he says "we can't save you once the storm hits."
Increased patrols on clogged Florida highways
The Florida Highway Patrol says troopers are monitoring the high volume of traffic heading north on Florida's Turnpike as people evacuate South Florida.
In a news release Thursday, the highway patrol said extra troopers, road rangers and wreckers will be on the roadways to help drivers whose vehicles have become disabled.
The agency says disabled vehicles left on the shoulders of the highways would be towed starting Thursday morning to make it easier for emergency workers who are trying to reach crash victims.
Turnpike officials are also using cameras along the road to monitor conditions.
Troopers escort fuel trucks to ease evacuations
Florida Gov. Rick Scott says the state is doing all it can to relieve fuel shortages and traffic jams to keep people evacuating ahead of Hurricane Irma.
Scott is acknowledging that empty pumps, long lines and crowded highways are "frustrating" for Floridians. But he says his administration is working with federal authorities and other states to move as much gas into Florida as they can.
This includes having the Florida Highway Patrol escort fuel trucks through any traffic.
Florida Highway Safety spokeswoman Beth Frady says troopers escorted trucks from two Florida ports to stations in Marion and Martin counties overnight, and also were escorting trucks from Georgia to stations in Perry, in north central Florida near where Interstate 75 crosses Interstate 10.
Updated: September 07, 2017 04:26 PM
Created: September 05, 2017 02:01 PM
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