florida hurricanes

Hurricane Irma evacuations now involve more than South Florida residents taking to the roads.

The 6th Air Mobility Wing at Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base is temporarily evacuating its KC-135 refueling planes to McConnell Air Force Base in Kansas.

Despite Keys officials urging islanders to pack up and leave Thursday, many residents were still debating whether to stay or hit the Overseas Highway.  

Jim Heslin was putting shutters on a house at the top of Key West's Solares Hill, the highest point of the southernmost island.  

"We're not sure yet, so we have a back-up plan to get out on the 6 p.m. flight tonight," Heslin said.

He said he has been watching the advisories from the Hurricane Center.

Tom Hudson / WLRN

If evacuation orders for parts of downtown Miami aren’t enough of an incentive to leave, city officials are also telling people to leave downtown high-rises because of construction cranes.

Officials from the city of Miami say there are more than 20 cranes in downtown Miami right now. They're engineered to withstand winds of 145 miles per hour -- less than what Irma might bring if it hits as a category 4 or 5 storm.

Do you want to vigorously dab, protest, Goth dance, or shoot a Ki blast cannon (a Dragon Ball Z attack) at Hurricane Irma to shoo it away? How about spin your arms really fast or spin your fidget fingers to ward off the impending storm?

While Facebook cancellations for regularly scheduled events are streaming in, a new kind of event has been popping up: any and all kind of rituals to try and convince the weather gods and goddesses that Florida is not the place for Hurricane Irma.

Residents across Florida have waited in lines for sandbags to fight the possibility of floods that Hurricane Irma may bring. Now, what to do with them?

When you're building a zoo disaster plan, there's one thing to keep in mind: Murphy's law. Anything that could go wrong, will.

Just ask the flock of flamingos that weathered Hurricane Andrew in a public restroom at Zoo Miami in 1992.

Or, you could ask the zoo personnel across the coast who've been running emergency drills since the start of hurricane season.

National Hurricane Center

Updated at 8:15 p.m.

Hurricane Irma continues ripping a path through the Caribbean towards Florida as a Category 5 storm with sustained winds of 175 mph, according to the 8 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

Evacuation orders have been issued across South Florida: Monroe County is under complete evacuation orders; Miami-Dade County Zones A, B, C are under evacuation orders; Broward County east of U.S. 1 is under evacuation orders; Palm Beach County Zones A, B, C are also under evacuation orders.

Joey Flechas / Miami Herald

Eugene Johnson purchased two loaves of bread and batteries for his flashlight. Those are his supplies in preparation for Hurricane Irma.

“I’m on fixed income,” said Johnson. “This hit me out of the blue. I had to pay my rent, my electricity bill and stuff like that.”

In his kitchen cabinet he already had a few cans of tuna and he plans to boils some eggs.

Johnson, 65, lives in an affordable housing complex in Miami and, like many of his neighbors who are also on fixed or limited income, he doesn’t own a car.

Keys Hospitals Begin To Evacuate As State Braces For Hurricane Irma

Sep 6, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians on Tuesday that powerful Hurricane Irma will start impacting the state by the end of the week — it's just not clear where.

Hurricane Irma's looming arrival is already preventing the Miami Dolphins and Florida International from hosting their respective home openers this weekend, with more changes almost certain to happen in the coming days.

The Dolphins were scheduled to host to Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon; FIU was to host Alcorn State on Saturday night. Officials decided on Tuesday that neither of those games will be played in South Florida, though they may be played elsewhere this weekend.

National Hurricane Center

Updated at 8:05 p.m.

The catastrophic Category 5 Hurricane Irma continues to batter the Caribbean and head towards South Florida and Miami-Dade County has issued voluntary evacuation orders for the City of Miami Beach and Zones A and B (you can find your zones here).

According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Irma's eye passed over the northernmost Virgin Islands this afternoon and hurricane watches could be issued in the Florida Keys and the mainland as soon as Thursday.

Pilar Uribe / WLRN

See a spike in prices of essential items you will need to be prepared for an eventual landing of Hurricane Irma in Florida? State authorities want to hear about it.

After Gov. Rick Scott declared an official state of emergency in Florida's 67 counties on Monday, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi opened the hotline 1-866-9-NO-SCAM so consumers can report incidents of price gouging.

Hurricane Irma Strengthened To Category 5

Sep 5, 2017

Updated: 4:35 p.m. 

Hurricane Irma has become the most powerful hurricane on record in the Atlantic Ocean outside the Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico. 

The storm is a strong Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, with sustained winds up to 185 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Floridians are old pros when it comes to hurricane preparation, but these last few years of near hurricane drought may have taken the edge off storm preparation.

But Harvey's Texas devastation is a stark reminder about the kind of damage a major hurricane can do.


Irma Now a Category 4 with an Eye on Florida

Sep 5, 2017

Irma strengthened Monday afternoon to a Category 4 storm, and the latest forecast data suggests the Major Hurricane will approach South Florida this weekend. It was too soon to make or deny that call in the past few days, but it’s now time for all Floridians in a hurricane prone area - no matter which coast you live along - to take Irma seriously.

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