The weekend party usually starts on Friday night. This week in South Florida, everything starts stopping on Friday night for Saturday’s expected arrival of Hurricane Irma.
Projections from the National Weather Service say tropical storm force winds — sustained winds of 40 mph — won’t get to South Florida until late Saturday afternoon or early Saturday evening. But the weather service’s detailed forecast says winds could hit those speeds late Friday night in South Miami-Dade at earliest and in Saturday’s first hours for the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport area.
Before then, things start stopping also because things start flying -- and we’re not talking about the airports (Miami International Airport will remain open until sustained winds hit 55 mph). Anything loose, especially on balconies, can turn into a projectile in tropical storm force winds. Patios, yards, carports need to be finished with preparation by that point.
Obviously, you should be finishing, if not already finished, putting up your shutters or boarding up your windows by Saturday afternoon, if not Friday night. When you start depends on your shutters and how adroit you are at shuttering your place.
That also means you should be set for supplies and food.Winn-Dixie says
Miami-Dade Transit doesn’t plan to be running in any way by Irma’s outer winds. Buses gear down three hours before tropical storm winds’ estimated arrival. The county’s trash and recycling centers will have closed at 7 p.m. Friday. Miami-Dade Parks marina staff will clear out once sustained winds reach 35 mph. Broward County Transit will continue to operate Friday, but on a Saturday schedule.
All that makes sense, seeing as how an inopportune gust can put experienced race car drivers into the wall at Indianapolis or Daytona. Whatever you think of your driving skills, you’re no Jimmie Johnson or Helio Castroneves behind the wheel of your familymobile. You should be off the highways, if not all roads, before Irma’s tropical storm edge reaches us.
And Saturday morning or afternoon, hurricane force winds could arrive in South Miami-Dade. The forecast puts Irma’s full body arrival at Saturday night in Broward.