UPDATED Sept. 6, 11:45 p.m.: Many residents of Miami’s barrier islands and low-lying mainland areas are now subject to a mandatory evacuation order that begins at 7 a.m. on Thursday.
County Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued the order Wednesday night. It affects those in Zone A, which includes Key Biscayne and the coastal areas of southern Miami-Dade, as well as the barrier islands of Zone B, including Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands, Golden Beach, Indian Creek Village, North Bay Village, Sunny Isles Beach and Surfside.
Earlier on Wednesday, the county mayor said no evacuation orders would be issued on Wednesday, but those living in the most vulnerable areas might still be asked to leave, according to the Miami Herald. An evacuation of storm-surge zones A and B would take about 26 hours.
Zone B also includes Brickell, but that area was not subject to the latest mandatory evacuation order.
Still, residents of high-rises next to construction cranes may want to consider leaving their condos and apartments ahead of Hurricane Irma’s arrival. The 20 to 25 cranes in the city of Miami, which includes Brickell and downtown Miami, aren’t designed to withstand Hurricane Irma’s Category 5 winds.
Broward County has already begun urging residents to leave, issuing evacuations of those in coastal and low-lying areas and in mobile homes.
Along with residents and small businesses, major lodging real estate investment trusts could also be slammed this weekend if the storm makes landfall in South Florida. [Miami Herald] – Katherine Kallergis