MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Miami-Dade County officials are urging locals to prepare for Tropical Storm Erika‘s possible impact.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez spoke Friday in Doral and reaffirmed the public about readiness within the county.
“Our message is just stay in touch and we will let you know if anything changes,” said Gimenez. “We are here. Miami-Dade County and all of its agencies are ready to respond.”
Later the same day, Gimenez gave an afternoon briefing in Miami, giving a more cautiously optimistic outlook on the impacts of the storm.
“We are not going to be asking for any evacuations. We are not going to be asking for any shelters. Tomorrow morning we should know more,” said Gimenez.
He also urged locals to have three days worth of food and three days worth of water, just in case.
ON Friday morning, Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Florida. In the same briefing, he continued to urge the public to be ready.
“The whole goal is to make sure everybody is prepared,” said Scott.
As for schools, both counties are monitoring the progress of the storm.
Miami-Dade Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, who also briefed the public on Friday afternoon, said he is watching the situation.
“We will not be making a decision regarding closure of schools today. We will consult with county entities sometime tomorrow,” said Carvalho.
He also said their decision will come in latest on Sunday morning. Robotic calls will notify parents. If the county decides to activate shelters, the schools will be forced to close.
Miami International Airport has already warned those who may be traveling in the next couple of days that their flights may be affected by the tropical storm. Those who have travel plans, have been asked to check with their airline for any possible changes.
“Check with your cruise lines. Check with your airlines,” said Miami-Dade Emergency Director Curtis Sommerhoff.
Even if the storm does not pass directly over South Florida, a large amount of rain is expected.
When it comes to flooding preps, various cities and private businesses are also helping locals prepare by offering free sandbags in Broward and Miami-Dade County.
“Just in case, we are getting ready,” said Marcia Varela as she filled sand bags up at Concrete Ready Mix in Miami. “They say it will will come with lots of water.”
Miami Beach city officials have large generators on standby ready to keep the pumping stations pumping, even if Erika knocks out the power.
“We’ve installed nine new pumps. Those pumps will be functioning. We are working with FP&L in case we lose power…We have emergency generators…We have auxiliary pumps,” said Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.
Miami residents are advised that there will be no garbage pick up on Monday due to Erika. If they want they can drop off their garbage Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday, from 7 a.m. to noon, at the mini dump facility at 1290 NW 20th Street. Garbage service will resume Tuesday.
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