MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Traffic was backed up Monday afternoon on Interstate 195 as residents tried to drive home to Miami Beach.
Sky 10 was above the interstate shortly after 1 p.m. as drivers were turned away and had to drive on the opposite side of traffic.
City officials said residents will be allowed to return to Miami Beach beginning at 8 a.m.Tuesday.
This is four hours ahead of the schedule as the city had originally reported that residents could return at noon.
Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine said crews are working to clear the streets of debris as quickly as possible so people can safely return home.
"The crews on Miami Beach are doing everything they can to clear up these streets," Levine said in a video posted on Twitter. "(They're) cutting down the trees that are blocking the roads, and of course those power lines need to be taken care of."
Levine spoke to CNN on Monday, saying that the city "didn't dodge a bullet. We dodged a cannon."
"Right now in Miami Beach, we have trees down, we have electrical cables that are down, we have a couple of gas leaks. We have fire rescue, we have our public works. We have crews in there right now, clearing out all the roads to make it safe for our residents to return to the barrier island," Levine said.
The mayor asked for patience and said that people wouldn't be able to maneuver through the mess on the roads if they returned to Miami Beach on Monday.
City officials are asking those who stayed in Miami Beach to not drive or walk through standing water, because there might be downed power lines or debris that isn't visible.
A curfew remains in effect for all of Miami-Dade from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Residents will be the first to be let in Miami Beach at noon Tuesday, followed by business owners, their employees and contractors.