MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade is preparing for any impacts from Hurricane Isaias.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez urged everyone to have a storm plan and CBS4 discovered residents feeding his advice.

It was a busy morning at Doral Central Park, where more than a hundred people drove up in their cars Friday morning to pick up free sandbags.

Will Tovar told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench “We are trying to protect our home by putting barriers on our porch to stop water from coming in.”

The sandbag giveaway in Doral was so popular, those arriving had to bring their own sand bags.

Nearby at a Walmart store in Doral, some people lined up to search for storm supplies.

“Actually I am looking for batteries and water. I realize there is a lot of uncertainty here and I am hoping the hurricane will go over us and not bump us,” Gabriela Nieves said.

Ericka Gutierrez echoed the sentiments of most people in line at that Walmart store.

“I am not stocking up or getting anything before this storm,” she said.

“Why not?” asked D’Oench.

“Because,” she said, “it’s not coming here. We will probably get some rain and wind but that’s it. I am not worried.”

Friday morning, Mayor Gimenez said the county is preparing for what may come.

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty about the track and we will continue to issue updates. So to reiterate, we have 20 evacuation centers on standby. They’re not open. Should we need to open them and we will have them set up with COVID-19 safety measures. It’s really too early to tell yet, so we are closely monitoring the situation,” he said.

Officials said they hoped to reopen the testing sites by Monday after the storm passes.

In preparation for any potential power outages. Gimenez said they have been calling more than 2,000 people who have registered for transfer to a safe place.

“These folks will use vital medical devices like respirators at home. That means that they’re power dependent. About 500 people have already indicated that they will need assistance,” said Gimenez.

People who need this service can call 311 to register. “You can not receive service during a storm,” said Gimenez.

Because of the storm, the county has temporarily shut down all COVID-19 testing sites. These sites will reopen once the storm passes. For details go to Miamidade.gov/COVID-testing.

Miami Dade also closed all parks, marinas, and golf courses on Friday by 8 p.m.

All other Miami Dade County services continue normal operations.

In Miami, all city parks, pools, beaches, boat ramps, and marinas closed at 5:00 p.m. and will remain closed until further notice.

Gimenez said that even though this may not be a major storm, people still need to be prepared.

“So now it’s a time that you should all be prepared. Even though it’s not a huge storm it can cause damage. Make sure your hurricane shutters and battery-powered radios are in good working order. Everyone should have sufficient food and water for each person in your home to last at least three days and up to a week. You can just fill up your containers with water using the tap,” he said.

He added that it was a good time to secure yards, patios, and clear any construction debris so it’s not hazardous during the storm.

“Take tree trimmings to a local trash and recycling center,” he said.

The Miami-Dade County Department of Solid Waste Management (DSWM) said residents should not begin any tree pruning or cleanup activities at this time.

They also asked that people refrain from scheduling bulky waste pickups prior to the storm, as piles will not be collected as weather conditions worsen.

DSWM customers needing to immediately dispose of household trash, yard trash and bulky items should take trash items to the nearest Neighborhood Trash and Recycling Center listed below:

  • Golden Glades – 140 NW 160 St.
  • Chapman Field – 13600 SW 60 Ave.
  • North Dade – 21500 NW 47 Ave.
  • Eureka Drive – 9401 SW 184 St.
  • Norwood – 19901 NW 7 Ave.
  • Moody Drive – 12970 SW 268 St.
  • Palm Springs North – 7870 NW 178 St.
  • Richmond Heights – 14050 Boggs Dr.
  • West Little River – 1830 NW 79 St.
  • Snapper Creek – 2200 SW 117 Ave.
  • South Miami Heights – 20800 SW 117 Ct.
  • Sunset Kendall – 8000 SW 107 Ave.
  • West Perrine – 16651 SW 107 Ave.

Restaurants are urged to secure their outdoor dining areas, including taking down any temporary tents or canopies.

The mayor said there will be no changes to the county’s public transportation schedules at this time. He added that if they received significant tropical-storm-force winds, that could change.

Miami International Aiport remains open and operational for all passenger and cargo operations.

The Federal Aviation Administration only closes its control tower at MIA if sustained winds (not gusts) reach 55 miles per hour, at which point planes cannot take off or land. Many airlines decide to not fly well before that point and sometimes on a case-by-case basis, so passengers should stay in close contact with their airline about their flight status.

Departing passengers should arrive at the airport at least two hours before a domestic flight and three hours before an international flight to allow enough time for parking, airline check-in and screening at the security checkpoint.

Peter D'Oench

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