Thirteen patients at a Florida Keys hospital have been relocated in advance of Hurricane Irma.
The patients were transferred from Lower Keys Medical Center by ambulance Wednesday afternoon and taken to the Naval Air Station Key West. They were then flown to Gadsden Regional Medical Center in Alabama.
Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark said Wednesday that all three Keys hospitals will also be closed by Friday morning as the storm threatens the island chain.
Fishermen's Community Hospital in Marathon closes at 7 a.m. Thursday, Mariners Hospital in Tavernier closes at 7 p.m. Thursday and Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West closes at 7 a.m. Friday.
The hospitals will not reopen until the storm passes and personnel who have evacuated can safely return to work.
Monroe County's air ambulance helicopters will also stop operating at 7 a.m. Friday.