Hurricane

Miami Beach, coastal Miami-Dade could soon face Irma evacuation order

Miami-Dade's mayor expects to order Miami Beach and much of the coastal areas of Miami and southern Dade to evacuate as early as Wednesday evening ahead of Hurricane Irma.

"That order is probably coming late Wednesday or early Thursday," Mayor Carlos Gimenez told reporters Tuesday.

He said county evacuation zones A and B would be the target of the order, but that future orders may broaden the evacuation target. Evacuation orders trigger a voluntary evacuation ahead of expected coastal flooding, with officials warning emergency services will not be available during a storm in the areas.

Gimenez said the first wave of evacuations of about 2,000 vulnerable residents will start Wednesday morning.

  

Miami-Dade triggers evacuation instructions when severe storm surge is predicted.

The A zone covers much of Coastal Miami-Dade and the B zone covers Miami Beach. An Gimenez spokesman said evacuation decisions could be made Wednesday morning.

"This is a powerful storm that poses a serious threat to our area," Gimenez said at a Tuesday afternoon briefing.

Hurricane Irma has maximum sustained winds of 175 mph, says NOAA. Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Leeward Islands and Irma is also expected to affect Puerto Rico & the British and U.S. Virgin Islands on Wednesday.

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