Hurricane Irma Prompts Immediate Evacuations in Miami
By: Ismael Rodriguez
South Florida has suffered over the years come hurricane season, but Irma’s devastating track has already prompted officials to plan evacuations in certain Miami-Dade areas like Miami Beach and much of the mainland coast.
Hundreds of thousands of residents have been asked to leave their homes out of fears of historical coastal flooding, according to what Mayor Carlos Gimenez told the press.
“This is a powerful storm which poses a serious threat to our area. We will be taking some extraordinary actions to ensure that the residents of Miami-Dade County are safe,” Gimenez told the Miami Herald. “I would rather inconvenience our residents on this occasion than suffer any unnecessary loss of life if we are hit by Hurricane Irma.”
In other areas of Miami like Brickell and downtown, evacuations are necessary because construction cranes are not designed to withstand category 5 winds, putting a large number of residents at risk.
There are about 20 to 25 cranes in the city that can bare winds of up to 145 miles per hour, according to city officials. Irma, though, clocked winds of 185 miles an hour on Tuesday, becoming the second strongest storm in the Atlantic Ocean following Hurricane Allen in 1980.
Maurice Pons, the city’s deputy director of the building department, told the press that staying in a high-riser next to a construction site could be detrimental. Other neighborhoods that also may suffer from this factor include Midtown Miami, Edgewater and the Arts & Entertainment District.
Luxury condo towers like Panorama Tower, One Thousand Museum, the Paraiso District, and Echo Brickell, where scaffolding collapsed last year and left five injured and one dead, are on lockdown as crews prepare to secure the projects.