‘We must remain vigilant,’ Miami-Dade mayor says as storm approaches South Florida

Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez warned residents Saturday that the county will still be affected by Hurricane Irma although the storm's path has shifted slightly west.

"There have been some rumors about Miami-Dade County being in the clear and being safe from a hit from  Hurricane Irma because we're no longer in the cone," Gimenez said. "Let me make this very clear, Miami-Dade County is still expecting to be impacted by Hurricane Irma."

Gimenez said hurricane force gusts have already been reported in some areas.

"We must remain vigilant," he said.

Gimenez warned that the storm, which weakened to a Category 3 Saturday, could still strengthen again.

He said the storm surge threat remains and is what triggered many residents to be evacuated. 

Some damage was already reported Saturday morning in Miami-Dade County as the outer bands of Hurricane Irma began hitting some areas.

Local 10 News reporter Sanela Sabovic was in Sweetwater after a tree fell on top of a car on 113th Avenue.

Another tree fell on top of a home just blocks away on 116th Court.

Later in the day, at about 2 p.m., a tree fell down across Alton Road in Miami Beach. 

No injuries were reported in the incidents.

Miami-Dade police said a power line was also damaged in the area of Southwest 137th Avenue and 30th Street.

People were asked to stay away from the area as Florida Power and Light crews worked to fix the power line.

Gimenez said people should not be on the roads throughout the county Saturday if they are currently in a safe place.

A curfew was issued in Miami Beach from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. and a curfew was issued for the city of Miami from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. 

An 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. curfew was issued in North Miami Beach. 

Gimenez said more than 25,000 people have sought refuge at one of the county's 43 shelters, but said that they are well below their capacity of 100,000.

There are some cots available at the shelters, although they are prioritizing the elderly. 

Click here for an updated list of all open shelters. 

Gimenez said residents should only call 911 in the case of an emergency and should call 311 for more information related to the storm. 

Download the Local 10 Hurricane Survival Guide and the Max Tracker mobile app for iOS and ANDROID. 

This BBSNews article was syndicated from News | WPLG, and written by News | WPLG. Read the original article here.