Hurricane Irma is a large, "extremely dangerous" Category 5 storm with 185 MPH winds. The current track predicts it will hit Puerto Rico tomorrow afternoon and possibly Key West by Sunday.

Monroe Co. (Florida Keys) has ordered mandatory evacuations starting tomorrow morning. Schools are closing and hospitals are being evacuated. "There will be no shelters in Monroe County," said local officials.

National Hurricane Center...

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Metulj from the Lurkzone's picture

A Monster

This could achieve the size of an Indian Ocean Typhoon. Remember: Fewer, more intense is the sign of climate change. We could be looking at a $350-500 billion hit on the US economy combined with Harvey. And, lo, Jose is hot on the heels of Irma.

Rachel's picture

Jose is supposed to turn

Jose is supposed to turn north and out into the Atlantic. Be thankful for small favors.

cafkia's picture

It is probably just a

It is probably just a coincidence that we have a 500-1000 year storm and a completely unprecedented storm within a month or so. There is certainly no proof that global warming is to blame.

(although it will be curious if Irma destroys a bunch of Confederate monuments.)

JaHu's picture

Maybe Trump will build a

Maybe Trump will build a giant wall along our entire coastline to protect us from hurricanes.

jbr's picture

And get the ocean to pay for

And get the ocean to pay for it

JaHu's picture

JBR and I, will be taking our

(Rimshot)

JBR and I, will be taking our act to a comedy club near you.

R. Neal's picture

Good news and bad news

Good news: The latest track suggests Irma will not punch through the Florida Straits into the Gulf where it could strengthen and threaten Texas again.

Bad news: The track now has Irma making a northerly turn near the Keys and going right up the middle of Florida. It would weaken after making landfall, but could still be a Category 3.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Car-less households in South Florida

I've been wondering and worrying about the incidence of car-less households in South Florida, where 5.6 million have been ordered to evacuate.

Governing magazine has an interactive U.S. map online that we can use to check out the extent of this problem anywhere in the country. Drag your cursor over South Florida (slowly, cities are tightly clustered there) to see that in Miami Beach, 28.7% of households have no personal transportation. Homestead is up there, too, at 17%.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

More on car-lessness in South Florida

I looked up population numbers on Miami Beach and Homestead, per Wiki.

Miami Beach (53% Latino, Wiki says) is 91,026 so the 27.8% lacking cars translates into 25,305 people.

Homestead is 64,079 so the 17% lacking cars translates into another 10,893 people.

Of course, there are many other coastal communities in that general area.

Also, I found the City of Miami Beach's Hurricane Evacuation Plan online, too. An excerpt:

Shelters
There are no hurricane shelters in Miami Beach or the coastal communities. The American Red Cross, in coordination with other agencies, operate shelters for evacuees at mainland schools and other facilities as deemed necessary during an evacuation. The locations are not pre-determined.

A list of shelters will be made available through the Miami-Dade County Emergency Operations Center as soon as they become available. The shelters are not intended to be temporary housing. After a disaster, assessments will be made with local emergency managers as to continued and other shelter needs.

Call 311 for a list once an evacuation is ordered.

Hurricane Evacuation Bus Stops
The City of Miami Beach will begin evacuation procedures as soon as there is an evacuation order from the state and county. If you have not made prior arrangements to stay somewhere off of the island, the City urges residents to go to a Red Cross hurricane shelter.

Miami-Dade Transit buses will provide free transportation to the mainland shelters from 21 locations in Miami Beach. Buses that will transport people for hurricane evacuations will have a special notice on the front of the bus where the route information is displayed.

Remember that pets are not allowed to go to general population shelters and therefore will not be allowed on the bus. Buses run continuous routes until tropical storm force winds arrive. These are NOT HURRICANE SHELTERS, only Miami-Dade Transit bus pick-up locations to shelters.

The Plan doesn't indicate how many city buses are involved in this evacuation plan, but we saw during Katrina that the New Orleans plan relied on only 60 buses, when the city needed hundreds more (and drivers for them, too). Just can't tell if this is an adequate plan...

bizgrrl's picture

Saw a report on CNN yesterday

Saw a report on CNN yesterday with lots of buses taking people to shelter. They were in an area south of Lake Okeechobee where there are a lot of low income people. A lot of them appeared to speak Cajun (?) and didn't speak English well.

Not that it will happen, but Scott has been saying in all his press conferences that buses are available to any municipality that needs them. They offered extra buses to Monroe County (the Keys) and they said they had plenty. Also, again don't know how well it is working, but there are phone numbers people can call if they need help getting out. Of course, the people would have to be aware of the phone numbers.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

*

Hopefully, we'll find that municipalities learned from Katrina. I just haven't seen too many references to plans for low income households in the mainstream news coverage I've been reading. They're crucial to saving lives.

bizgrrl's picture

From what I'm seeing in the

From what I'm seeing in the news, it's possible shelter space is a problem in some areas. Ft. Myers has people waiting in long lines.

CathyMcCaughan's picture

The Red Cross is creating

The Red Cross is creating shelters all down the coastline that will be staffed by AmeriCorps workers.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Ft. Myers

Wiki says Ft. Myers has a population of 62,298 so if their rate of "car-lessness" ran about the national average of 10%, they'd have 6,229 people unable to evacuate.

However, Wiki also says Ft. Myers is 71.7% Black and Latino, so that rate of "car-lessness" may well run higher than the national average (I can't seem to see data on Ft. Myers in that interactive map I posted in an above link).

Anyway, I also found online this list of Red Cross shelters now in operation throughout Florida and I see just three in Ft. Myers. Is that enough shelters for 6,000 or 7,000 or 8,000 people? Given that some seem to house only a few hundred people, I thought not???

(The situation in Miami-Dade County didn't look a lot better. If I counted correctly, I spotted 16 shelters countywide--not just inside Miami--for help to those estimated 25,000 car-less in just the city limits there. Could these shelters house over 1,500 at each location???)

JaHu's picture

My son informed me a few

My son informed me a few minutes ago that he has friends who chose to ride out the storm in Key West. They told him they really didn't have the money to leave. It just seems crazy to me that they couldn't have found a ride with someone. Can only hope it won't be as bad as predicted.

Mike Knapp's picture

Live cam list

R. Neal's picture

All the Keys webcams are

All the Keys webcams are down. Not good...

JaHu's picture

I kept a close watch of the

I kept a close watch of the eyewall on the doplar as it passed through the keys. The eyewall seemed to pass about 5 miles to the east of Key West which could be a good sign for at least my sons friends. I noticed the weather radar which was located a few miles east (which is generally weaker and dryer) of Key West. It passed through the eye and never seemed to lose power. I've wondered if the eyewall is similar to viewing totality in an eclipse, the impact is not as dramatic if you miss it.

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