Some Keys residents ignore mandatory evacuation order ahead of Irma

Mayor of Key West urges residents to evacuate

KEY WEST, Fla. – Despite the warning from Florida Keys officials, some residents are choosing to ride out Hurricane Irma at home.

Lines for gas spilled onto the streets Wednesday in Key West as residents were filling up their tanks and heading out of town after a mandatory evacuation order was issued for the Keys.

"I can't fight it anymore. I really can't," one man told Local 10 News. "There's nothing you can do in the middle of the night when the storm hits you really, really hard."

Others were ignoring the mandatory order to leave.

"We're Key West conchs, man," a resident told Local 10. "We crawl up in our shell and we hang on, brother. We're used to this kind of weather."

He was at the gas station with his young daughter.

Business owners on Duval Street were hard at work boarding up, putting up shutters and moving merchandise in the event of flooding.

"It's our livelihood here, you know, for me and all of our employees as well," restaurant owner Bill Lay said. "So, you know, there's a little bit of a labor of love here, you know. We got to protect the mother."

All hospitals in the Keys are closing by 7 a.m. Friday.

The mayor of Key West urged residents not to take their chances by staying behind.

"If you stay here, the hospital will be closed," Mayor Craig Cates said. "We'll have minimal amount of emergency service."

Key West deejay Louie C Rock said the southernmost city will continue to thrive, no matter what Irma throws its way.

"The show must go on," he said.