Hurricane

She delivered baby at home because Hurricane Irma kept the paramedics away

Irma winds arrive in Key West

The storm, though temporarily weakened by a day along the Cuban coast, came in as the most powerful storm to strike the Keys in more than a half century.
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The storm, though temporarily weakened by a day along the Cuban coast, came in as the most powerful storm to strike the Keys in more than a half century.

Though Miami has largely been spared the worst of Hurricane Irma, winds grew so extreme overnight in the city that Miami’s rescue crews were told to begin using judgment when deciding whether to respond to emergency calls.

One homeowner in Flagami at 331 SW 71st Ave. was lucky enough that firefighters were able to come out with two fire engines and extinguish a fire after a downed electrical wire set the building ablaze. Fire rescue contacted Florida Power & Light, which shut down the grid. No one was injured.

Paramedics also rescued a man who badly cut his arm and lost his pulse.

But a pregnant woman in Little Haiti wasn’t quite so lucky.

With paramedics unable to go out into the storm, a dispatcher talked the woman through delivering her baby at home Sunday morning, according to Assistant Fire Chief Eloy Garcia.

“We weren’t able to respond. So she delivered the placenta, also. Dispatch told her how to tie it off. She’s stable at home,” Garcia said. “We made contact with the assistant medical director here. Talked things through.”

Mom and baby girl were later taken to the hospital by emergency workers.

Pete Gomez, Miami’s emergency management director, said conditions remained dangerous, so replacement crews would not be coming in until the weather improves.

“We’ve got to follow our protocol,” he said.

Gomez said he also got a call Saturday night around 10 p.m. from the Miami Shores police chief about an 18-story building with elderly residents where the sea wall had been washed out.

Gomez said the chief wanted to know if the situation was dangerous.He said Miami’s building director talked to police about evacuating the bottom floor.

“It washed out a sea wall completely. I’ve never seen that here,” Gomez said. “It’s indicative of the damage the surges can cause.”

As for police, Deputy Police Chief Luis Cabrera said the night was mostly quiet, save for plenty of downed trees. He urged people to stay inside.

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