MIAMI – As the outer bands of Hurricane Irma were pounding downtown Miami early Sunday, firefighters were using their discretion answering 911 calls.
"It's too dangerous for us to respond to all the 911 calls, so we're using discretion on the calls we respond to," Miami Department of Fire-Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll told Local 10 News. "Obviously, house fires we're going to respond to as quickly as possible, but as you can see, with the wind gusts that we have here, it can be very dangerous to the first responders."
Carroll said there was a threat of projectiles flying in the air and wind gusts that could cause vehicles to overturn. He said there have already been downed light poles and trees as a result of the storm.
A curfew is in place in the city from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
"This is not just to keep you in your homes," Carroll said. "It's for your safety."
A stretch of Biscayne Boulevard near the InterContinental Miami in downtown was underwater as Local 10 News reporter Andrew Perez reported live from the area. There was also an overturned tree on the ground nearby.
Carroll said firefighters have strategically placed specialized teams throughout the city to assess damages after the storm has passed.
"Remember, even though the storm has moved a little bit to the west and you think that we're in the clear, the winds that you see right now obviously indicate that it's still very dangerous," Carroll said.
Carroll had a piece of advice to residents.
"Don't try to satisfy your curiosity by coming out to see what it's like," he said.