MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Florida continues to prepare for Hurricane Irma gas and water are high demand.
A gas station on U.S. 1 where it meets Card Sound Road in Florida City has been busy around the clock as Keys residents and visitors head north ahead of the storm. Most of the pumps were not running because they were out of gas.
Ruben Diaz, who has lived in Key West for ten years, stopped to gas up. He said he’s never evacuated in the past, but this time is different.
“It’s a Cat 5, maybe a Cat 4, we’re not taking any chances. We tied our boats up and we’re leaving,” he said.
Monty Pearson, who was also leaving the Keys, couldn’t agree more.
“If push comes to shove we can always replace her house but we cannot replace our lives,” Monty Pearson.
“We’re not sticking around. I don’t know if it’s going to be a Cat 4 or a Cat 5 but it is not worth it,” Niki Eysenbach.
So they decided to fuel up and head out.
“We’ve got a cooler with some food, pillows, clothes, important papers, and cash to get us through” said Pearson.
Another early bird to hit the road was Darla Pope who lives in Key West.
“We’ve got it all boarded up and ready to go, we’re just going to have to wait and see hopefully we won’t get in deep water,” she said.
Frank Huff, who was visiting Key West, cut his vacation short.
“We left at two this morning headed for Orlando to catch a flight from Orlando to Detroit and from Detroit to Pennsylvania,” said.
In addition to some gas stations out of fuel, those stocking up for the storm have found that bottled water is in short supply at grocery and big box stores. The stores that have water say it’s gone as soon as they restock the shelves.
Miami-Dade emergency managers say there are no mandatory evacuations for the county at this time but that may change depending on Irma’s course. They are advising residents who live in low-lying areas to start evacuating on Wednesday.
To make evacuations smoother, on Tuesday Governor Scott directed the Department of Transportation to suspend tolls across the entire state.
County offices, libraries, and public schools will be closed Thursday and Friday as a precaution.
All park activities, including after school programs, shelter rentals, community-based organization-related sports programs such as soccer, cheerleading and football programs will be cancelled beginning Thursday.