MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Miami Beach officials were beginning preparations Thursday for Hurricane Dorian.
Just like many property owners in the area, the city boarded up windows of city buildings with plywood in case the storm hits South Florida and causes debris to fly through the air.
"We're not taking a chance," City Manager Jimmy Morales said. "We're planning now, and we're preparing now because if it turns out, we find out Saturday that it's coming this way, it's too late."
The city manager said the city's focused on public assets -- all the buildings and resources it needs to have ready to get through the storm and recover from it as quickly as possible.
That includes getting rid of debris in the roads and making sure as many possible projectiles are cleared as possible.
Because there's a possibility of heavy rain and flooding, the city is draining its stormwater system, cleaning its drains and dispatching temporary pumps -- nearly a dozen -- at sensitive areas. It is also adding 16 generators to keep the system flowing where it doesn't have permanent generators to help get the water out.
It's also working with sidewalk cafes and restaurants to make sure their outdoor furniture is cleared and secure.
An Emergency Operations Center is set up at one Miami Beach fire station just down the street from the ocean.
Miami Beach is a barrier island, and city officials warn that should an evacuation order be issued, everyone is encouraged to follow those orders.
Right now, we don't know what track the storm will take, but it will potentially hit Florida as a Category 4 storm.