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Time is Running Out in South Florida

  • Key West, Miami and Fort Lauderdale - sunset tonight
  • Naples, Ft. Myers, West Palm and Ft. Pierce - noon Saturday
  • Sarasota, Bradenton, Melbourne - sunset Saturday
  • Tampa, Orlando, Daytona Beach - 6 am Sunday
  • Ocala, Gainesville, Jacksonville, St. Augustine - noon Sunday

Hundreds of thousands of South Floridians in the path of Major Hurricane Irma have less than 24 hours to make a decision. A decision to find higher ground, a sturdier structure, or hit the highway. Doing nothing is also a decision, but potentially a life-threatening one.

The winds of Irma are strong enough to leave homes and businesses “uninhabitable for weeks”, so says the National Weather Service in Miami. The storm surge will be high enough in some spots to move miles inland. The rain will fall at a rate too fast for drainage systems and waterways to contain. And further inland, tornadoes could spin up very quickly, exacerbating the structural damage and threat to life for anyone not in a safe place.

Former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate told us during a Facebook Live last night that “This is about as bad as it gets. This storm is bringing everything.”  He believes if we wait for “certainty”, it will be too late.

[vc_raw_html]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[/vc_raw_html]This story will be updated often on the meteorology and potential hazards at various locations throughout the State of Florida, as we gain a better understanding of how severe the impacts could be. Those updates will be posted by midday.

For information on evacuation orders, visit the State of Florida Hurricane Irma Disaster Info page. For help with evacuation zones, routes, and open shelters, our mobile app Florida Storms is a great resource.

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Sources include nearest National Weather Service office, National Hurricane Center, and the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network (@FloridaStorms).
Sources include nearby emergency management agencies, FEMA, and your local NPR affiliate. 
Sources include the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Highway Patrol and other nearby traffic information.

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A service of WUFT at the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications 

Partners of the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network include: Florida's Division of Emergency Management, WDNA (Miami), WFIT (Melbourne), WMFE (Orlando), WFSU (Tallahassee), WGCU (Fort Myers), WJCT (Jacksonville), WKGC (Panama City), WLRN (Miami), WMNF (Tampa-Sarasota), WQCS (Fort Pierce), WUFT (Gainesville-Ocala), WUSF (Tampa), WUWF (Pensacola) and Florida Public Media.

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