FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Broward residents who decided to ride out Hurricane Irma have been frustrated by the lack of bottled water and long lines at gas stations that still have fuel.
On Wednesday, the county’s emergency managers announced a mandatory evacuaton for all residents who live east of Federal Highway/US1 along with people who live in mobile homes and low-lying areas.
For those who have nowhere to go, there are 14 shelters that opened at noon on Thursday.
“Please remember that shelters are a refuge of last resort. They provide a safe, short-term place to weather the storm,” said county Mayor Barbara Sharief.
They would prefer that people who plan to stay with family and friends go there on Thursday. They say that will help prevent traffic jams on the roads late Friday or Saturday morning when the weather will be deteriorating.
“Irma is a very large storm that will bring tropical storm force winds, probably hurricane force winds, and life threatening storm surge and excessive rain with the risk of tornadoes. Residents should be taking all appropriate precautions. Put up shutters today, don’t delay in this,” said county Mayor Barbara Sharief.
Broward County Transit will operate on a Saturday schedule on Thursday and Friday. Express Bus service will continue to operate. Routes 15, 23, 56, and 88 will run on a weekday schedule.
Broward’s Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport is open, however passengers are encouraged to check with their airline for possible delays or cancellations.
Broward residents are being told not to put out their trash in their normal garbage days in Saturday. All Broward County Waste Management residential and commercial customers will not have garbage, recycling, yard waste or bulk collection service on Saturday, September 9 until further notice.
Additionally, bulk pickup in the Town of Davie has been cancelled for Friday and Saturday.
Florida Power and Light spokesman Juliet Roulhac said while they beefed up their lines and systems over the last few years, there will probably be outages.
“This is a Cat 5 hurricane the likes of which most of us have never experienced. So we are all working hard and preparing for the worst,” she said.
“One of the things we have done since Wilma is strengthen our infrastructure, most of you have seen the very tall concrete polls going up in your neighborhoods. That has been a significant part of hardening and supporting our infrastructure. They will withstand much higher wind strengths that will allow us to restore more quickly,” she added.
Hurricane Irma is expected to result in widespread power outages. To report power outages, visit FPL.com or call 800-468-8243.
Broward residents can sign up for AccessBROWARD to receive email alerts. Officials are asking that residents follow @ReadyBroward on Twitter. You can also report damage at the county’s site. If you’re in Broward and need to protect your pet before and during a hurricane, click here.
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