Hurricane

Miami Beach causeways remain open to cars, but closed for boats

Miami Beach causeways are open for vehicular traffic as of Friday evening ahead of Hurricane Irma, but Mayor Philip Levine urged residents to stay in a safe place.
Miami Beach causeways are open for vehicular traffic as of Friday evening ahead of Hurricane Irma, but Mayor Philip Levine urged residents to stay in a safe place. El Nuevo Herald File

Miami Beach causeways are open for vehicular traffic ahead of Hurricane Irma, but Mayor Philip Levine urged residents to stay in a safe place.

“The causeways will remain open to vehicular traffic; however I urge you to stay put in a safe place,” Levine said in a statement.

As of 8 p.m. on Friday, drawbridges remained in a lock-down position so boats could not pass.

Though the causeways are open, residents should know that first responders will not be dispatched for rescues once wind speeds reach 40 miles-per-hour, according to Levine.

Bridges will typically be locked down at least eight hours ahead of when 39 miles-per-hour winds are expected, according to Miami-Dade’s hurricane guide. Intracoastal Waterway bridges will only open infrequently until lockdown once evacuations begin off the barrier islands, which started on Thursday.

Causeways connecting Biscayne Key and Miami Beach to the mainland will close to vehicular traffic after the storm passes—until the city deems the streets safe.

Tropical storm force winds—or sustained winds of 39 miles-per-hour—are expected in the Florida Keys as early as 8 a.m. Saturday and in the rest of South Florida by 2 p.m. Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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