FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Hurricane shelters in Broward County continue to fill up as residents evacuate their homes ahead of Hurricane Irma.
“This storm is going to impact virtually every metropolitan area in the state,” said Florida Senator Marco Rubio during a press conference in Broward.
A large swath of the county is under a mandatory evacuation order. It includes both of Broward’s evacuation zones “A” and “B” – basically anyone living east of US1.
Broward opened more shelters on Friday. More than a dozen are open across the county. About 8,770 people are in the county’s shelters which have a capacity of 18,500. Click here for the full list of open shelters.
Broward County Emergency Management Director Miguel Ascurrinz had a simple message for people who live in mandatory evacuation zones — there’s still time to evacuate.
Seven shelters have reached capacity including Coral Glades High in Coral Springs, Plantation Elementary, West Broward High, Watkins Elementary in Pembroke Park, Pompano Beach High and Millennium Middle/Challenger Elementary Campus which is pet-friendly and Fox Trail Elementary School.
Everglades High School, which is currently a general population shelter, is accepting evacuees with pets.
Nathan Benton, who took advantage of a county shelter, said everyone needs to pay heed to Irma’s power and get to safety.
“Come up out of the house and stop being bashful. Stop feeling like this storm is not gonna do too much or it’s gonna turn. Get up, pack your stuff, get out of the house to safe ground,” Benton said.
If you do plan to go to a shelter, you must bring your own supplies, enough for three days, and blankets. There are no beds at the shelters.
For those planning to catch a flight out, check with your airline. Many flights have already been canceled. The last flight out of Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will leave at 7:45 p.m. and then the airport will be closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Broward County Transit will stop at 1 a.m. Saturday. Also, the county has set up a hotline number of 311 if you have a hurricane related question or issue. It may take a little while for them to get back with you but be patient.
Governor Rick Scott has ordered all public schools in the state to remain closed at least through Monday.
The U.S. Postal Service has suspended mail delivery in South Florida until the storm passes.
Residents are urged to make sure they are prepared. If you have any issues, residents are urged to call the Broward Emergency Hotline at 311 or (954) 831- 4000. You can also visit their Emergency Operations site.
- Click here for ways to prepare yourself for an impending storm from our Hurricane Preps page
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