Initial evacuation orders of Miami’s barrier islands and coastal areas have expanded further inland to affect those in Zone B and parts of Zone C.
County Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued the order this afternoon. 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.
Zones A and B includes Key Biscayne and the coastal areas of southern Miami-Dade, as well as Miami Beach, Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Islands, Golden Beach, Indian Creek Village, North Bay Village, Sunny Isles Beach and Surfside.
Residents within Zones A, B and part of C are being asked to evacuate their homes in advance of Hurricane Irma and its Category 5 winds. Broward County has already issued evacuations for residents in trailer homes and mobile areas.
Current forecasts predict Tropical Storm winds in Miami-Dade by Saturday. The hurricane is expected to to make landfall Sunday.
Brickell and downtown, two of the affected areas, are dense in development and construction. 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. – Amanda Rabines