FT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – While Hurricane Irma has shifted slightly the west, residents of Broward are being urged not to let their guard down.
The storm still poses a very serious threat.
“We expect 10 to 20 inches and the first line of thunderstorms are coming onshore now. Storm surge is estimated to be 4 to 6 feet. We expect high winds and some storm surge flooding with the possibility of tornadic activity,” said Mayor Barbara Sharief.
The National Hurricane Center reports that the worst part of the storm for Broward will be from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.
Sharief said there are 14,90 residents in 21 shelters across the county which have a capacity for 20,000. She said many of the shelters are near or at capacity, however there are two new shelters excepting new arrivals.
They are Lakeside Elementary in Pembroke Pines, which is pet friendly, and Coconut Palm Elementary in Miramar.
The mayor asks anyone going to a shelter to bring only what they need for three days; food, water, blankets, and medication. She said space is limited inside them so don’t bring excessively large or cumbersome items – like king sized mattresses or mini refrigerators.
Sharief said there is no garbage pick up this weekend and county transit remains suspended until conditions improve. Port Everglades and Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport will remain closed Saturday and Sunday.
“They say that all disasters are local. In the spirit of community I ask all residents to reach out to neighbors or people you think may be vulnerable and needed assistance,” said Sharief.
FPL spokeswoman Juliet Roulhac said they have more than 13,000 workers in place ready to respond and restore power after the storm. She acknowledged that some of Irma’s outer bands have already caused disruptions.
Roulhac said after storm passes becareful of downed powerlines if you venture outside.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said after the storm, safety is important. Stay out of standing water and only fire up generators outside. If you left your home, do not return until it is safe and the roads are clear.