Hurricane

Miami-Dade issues countywide curfew for Hurricane Irma

Miami Beach police patrol South Pointe Park as the outer bands of Hurricane Irma reached South Florida early Saturday morning, Sept. 9, 2017.
Miami Beach police patrol South Pointe Park as the outer bands of Hurricane Irma reached South Florida early Saturday morning, Sept. 9, 2017. dsantiago@elnuevoherald.com

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez on Sunday announced a 7 p.m.-to- 7 a.m. curfew, ordering everyone off the streets in a county where 75 percent of the buildings lack electricity in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

A string of Miami-Dade cities imposed pre-Irma curfews on Saturday, but Gimenez resisted the step, even as Broward County, just to the north, ordered a countywide curfew ahead of the storm.

A Gimenez spokesman said the Miami-Dade curfew allows cities to impose tougher curfews within their jurisdictions, but must comply with the county's 7 p.m. cut-off for being out on the streets and keep people inside until at least 7 a.m.

With the addition of the county curfew, residents now have a patchwork of movement restrictions to track.

In Homestead, that city's curfew is set to expire 6 a.m. Monday, but the county's curfew lasts one more hour. In North Miami Beach, the curfew lasts until 10 a.m. Monday, keeping the city off limits for an extra three hours after the county's all-clear time for the morning.

Gimenez said he didn't see the need for a countywide curfew before Irma arrived, saying he wanted to wait until power outages and storm damage left roads unpassable and vacant storefronts vulnerable to looting. “Mayor Gimenez issued the curfew effective after the storm is expected to clear our area because it allows emergency responders the opportunity to assess damages,” spokesman Michael Hernández said.

Miami and Miami Beach imposed the county's first curfews Saturday after Gimenez's own evacuation order for more than 600,000 residents left entire neighborhoods empty. Gimenez said he could see why cities with large areas evacuated would need earlier curfews than would the county at large.

A county statement that followed Gimenez's announcement instructed residents "to remain inside with all doors and windows closed.”

Broward County issued a curfew through 10 a.m. Monday—three hours longer than Miami-Dade’s curfew.

“During the curfew, all pedestrian and vehicular movement is prohibited except for fire and rescue services, police services, emergency services, or hospital services,” according to a statement from Broward County’s emergency operations center.

Here is a list of updated curfews in various municipalities within Miami-Dade:

▪ Aventura from noon Sunday through noon Monday

▪ Doral through 7 p.m. Sunday through 7 a.m. Monday

▪ Evacuation zones in Coral Gables through 7 a.m. Monday

▪ Hialeah from Sunday afternoon until 7 a.m. Monday

▪ Homestead through 6 a.m. Monday

▪ Miami Gardens through 7 a.m. Monday

▪ North Miami Beach through 11 a.m. Monday

Downed power lines, trees obstructing roads, flooded streets, hurricane wind speeds, and tornadoes make the roads unsafe for residents. Even in places without official or extended curfews, officials urge residents to stay off the roads.

Miami Herald staff writers Lance Dixon, Monique O. Madan, Elizabeth Koh, and David Smiley contributed to this report.

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