Emergency Management officials in Florida’s southernmost county issued mandatory evacuation orders in advance of the now-185 mph Hurricane Irma. “You must evacuate, you cannot stay,” officials warned.
“My wife is leaving the Keys today,” Monroe County Emergency Management Director Martin Senterfitt said in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas. “She would rather go to the dentist than sit in traffic. The sooner people leave the better. If ever there was a storm to take serious in the Keys, this is it.”
The 2 p.m. statement from the National Hurricane Center in Miami clocks Irma’sustained winds at 185 mph. Hurricane Andrew, which nearly wiped Homestead, Florida, and much of the Keys, off the map, came ashore in 1992 with sustained winds of 145 mph and gusts up to 175 mph, the Hurricaneville.com reported.
“Now is a good time for tourists and residents to fill their tanks with fuel and complete their evacuation plans,” Monroe County Emergency Management officials stated. “There will be no shelters in Monroe County. Out-of-county shelters are not open yet. Information about their location and when they will open is in the works.”
“Irma is an extremely dangerous Category 5 hurricane,” National Hurricane Center (NHC) officials wrote in their 2 p.m. advisory.
The storm’s barometric pressure continues to drop. The latest reading placed the storm’s pressure at 27.34 inches (926 mb). Officials called Irma “the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic basin outside of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico in the NHC records.”
Officials in Monroe County urge those with special needs regarding evacuation to register online or call 305-292-4591. Pets may also be register. Tourists and residents are urged to leave as soon as possible to avoid massive traffic delays. Hurricane officials predict the storm will pass south of the Florida Keys on Sunday morning. Officials provided the following information:
People with special needs may bring their pets. Pets also must be registered. If it is necessary to evacuate to the out-of-county special needs shelter at Florida International University in Miami, pets will be taken to a separate shelter with a 24/7 caretaker.
People who are medically managed, including those on oxygen, feeding tubes or equipment that needs constant electricity, can also register on the special needs registry for transportation by ambulance to nursing homes out of the county.
Follow complete coverage of Hurricane Irma on Breitbart News.