Checking in with Miami as Category 5 Hurricane Irma barrels toward Florida

As Texans in the southeastern part of the state continue to dry out from Hurricane Harvey, residents of the Sunshine State are bracing for torrential rain and gale-force winds as another storm, one that some have described as ‘catastrophic’ and even ‘apocalyptic,’ appears to be plotting a course for landfall in Florida this weekend.

Irma is expected to hit Puerto Rico Wednesday afternoon before moving north toward the Dominican Republic, Bahamas and Cuba Thursday, then making its way toward the southern tip of Florida this weekend.

Mandatory evacuation orders for residents of the Florida Keys have been issued by Florida’s Governor, Rick Scott, who has also declared a statewide emergency. Miami’s mayor has yet to issue any orders for the city to evacuate but has said he could still issue one. Other counties are asking coastal residents and those in low-lying areas to leave now.

How are residents of Miami and beyond preparing? What are local officials expecting the extent of the damage to be?

We talk with a reporter on the ground in Florida for the latest on Irma.


Nadege Green, reporter for NPR affiliate station WLRN in Miami; she tweets @NadegeGreen