Broward County sets curfew for 4 p.m. on Saturday
Residents 'should not let guard down,' despite shift in forecast, mayor says
PLANTATION, Fla. – Broward County leaders gathered Saturday morning at the Emergency Operations Center in Plantation to give residents an update as Hurricane Irma moves closer to South Florida.
"Irma is a huge and dangerous storm system that continues to pose a threat to all of South Florida," Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said.
The mayor said the county expects 10 to 15 inches of rain to fall during the storm and the storm surge is estimated to approach 2 to 4 feet.
Sharief said residents should expect flooding and the possibility of tornadic activity.
She said the worst part of the storm for Broward County is expected from 4 a.m. to about 9 p.m. on Sunday.
A tornado watch has been issued for Broward County until midnight.
A curfew has been set for 4 p.m. Saturday and no vehicles, unless authorized, will be allowed on the roads until further notice.
"Broward County -- we are urging you to stay off the road," Sharief said. "Our central personnel will not be responding to 911 calls after winds reach 45 mph."
Sharief said winds are expected to reach 40 to 75 mph at 2 p.m.
Between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m., winds are expected to increase to somewhere between 74 to 100 mph.
The mayor said Broward Sheriff's Office deputies and other law enforcement agencies will be working at 4 p.m. to make sure that the streets are clear.
Deerfield Beach has set an earlier curfew at noon for residents. The city of Coral Springs set an 8 p.m. curfew for residents, but said to follow the county curfew if they are outside of city limits.
Lauderhill is following the county's curfew.
More than 14,000 residents have sought refuge at shelters throughout the county, Sharief said. The county has also helped shelter more than 1,000 homeless people in the area.
Only two shelters have not been filled to capacity in Broward County: Coconut Palm Elementary School in Miramar and Lakeside Elementary School in Pembroke Pines. Lakeside Elementary will also be accepting pets with proper papers.
Residents are asked to get to a shelter by 2 p.m.
Juliet Roulhac, of Florida Power and Light, said FPL will send out workers immediately after the storm passes to restore power to affected areas.
"We have over 13,000 workers in place, ready to respond and restore your power after the storm," she said.
Roulhac said some residents were already experiencing power outages Saturday morning as the outer bands began hitting South Florida.
Residents are asked to call 800-4-OUTAGE to report power outages.
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