Gimenez declares state of emergency as Eta strengthens in Caribbean

MIAMI – Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez declared a state of emergency on Friday as Eta was set to cause flooding on Sunday and Monday in areas of South Florida.

The impact of heavy rainfall and gusty winds will start late Saturday afternoon. Gimenez urged residents to expect tropical-storm-force winds beginning Sunday.

Residents in mobile homes and low-lying areas need to evacuate. Miami-Dade County will be opening an evacuation center at 2 p.m. Saturday at 10901 Coral Way, Gate 2. Authorities are asking people to bring blankets, pillows, medicine, and facial coverings.

Authorities are asking residents to secure objects that winds could blow around, such as garbage carts, patio furniture, garden tools, and toys.

Workers are doing what they can to keep storm drains clear of debris.

“Facing challenges of flooding and mosquito breeding, people need to help keep debris out of curbs and drain fields. Bag it, don’t blow it,” Miami-Dade Commissioner Sally Heyman said in a statement.

After impacting Central America as a hurricane, the storm made a U-turn and was moving across the Caribbean towards Cuba. Hurricane Eta killed dozens in Guatemala, Mexico, and Panama. Authorities in Nicaragua and Honduras are still assessing the damage.

About the Authors:

Betty Davis is the chief certified meteorologist for Local 10. She provides weather forecasts for South Florida Monday-Friday during the 4, 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. 

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.