As Hurricane Irma continues to wreak havoc in Florida, its floodwaters have inundated the streets of Miami, making the city completely unrecognizable.
The hurricane, now downgraded to a Category 3 storm, has wind speeds of 130 mph that have pounded palm trees along Brickell Ave. in the city’s downtown financial area.
Videos on social media show a battered South Beach as floodwaters rushed through streets, entered businesses and residences. Irma’s ferocious winds have also caused a crane to snap.
Meteorologists have urged the public to not go outside due to storm surges that could rise rapidly. Parts of the American Airlines Arena, home to the NBA’s the Miami Heat, have experienced some exterior damages.
Emergency services were suspended until winds slow down to less than 40 mph. An 8 p.m. curfew has been imposed for Miami over the next two nights, and no one is allowed out on the streets until they are cleared, Miami Beach officials said.
Thousands of families have fled to shelters, even as others remained home to ride out the storm, despite mandatory evacuation in their respective counties.
The Miami Police Department was well-prepared for Irma, tweeting out a photo of Cuban coffee, known as cafecito, in a boiling pot. Cafecito is a staple in Miami.
“As our officers ride out the storm, some have brought the #Miami essentials to help get them through the night,” the department wrote.
Irma made landfall in Cudjoe Key early Sunday and the hurricane was making its way toward Naples in the afternoon with wind gusts of over 80 mph.
With News Wire Services