Miami-Dade area schools close as Ian soaks Florida
Many South Florida schools are closed through Thursday as Hurricane Ian, now an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 hurricane, is set to bring heavy wind and rain to the area before making landfall along the state's west coast later today.
What's happening: Tropical storm force winds reached southeast and southwest Florida as the intensifying hurricane moved some 75 miles southwest of Naples, packing maximum sustained winds of 140 mph, the National Hurricane Center said in a 5am update Wednesday.
- The major hurricane unleashed life-threatening storm surge flooding across the lower Florida Keys overnight, and it's expected to do the same on the Florida mainland — with the highest risk from Naples to Sarasota.
Zoom in: The storm's outer bands have spawned tornadoes along Florida's east coast.
- At least two tornadoes were reported in Broward County. One passed over North Perry Airport, causing significant damage to several aircrafts and hangars, according to Broward County Mayor Michael Udine.
- Late last night there were reports of a tornado damaging buildings and vehicles in Palm Beach County's Kings Point community.
- More tornadoes are possible in central and south Florida, per NHC.
Meanwhile: Miami-Dade and Broward counties have been placed under a tropical storm warning, meaning our area could experience winds of 39-73 mph.
- Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said yesterday that the county is expecting 2-8 inches of rain through tomorrow with risk of flooding and tropical storm winds starting this morning.
What's closed: Several schools, universities and government buildings will be closed in South Florida Wednesday.
- Public school districts in Miami-Dade and Broward announced there would be no classes Wednesday or Thursday.
- Miami-Dade College and Florida International University also announced classes would be canceled Wednesday.
- Libraries, parks and court buildings will be closed in Miami-Dade, although some court hearings will proceed virtually, the Miami Herald reported. County buses and Miami International Airport will continue operating as normal.
Other announcements: Miami and Hialeah will not conduct waste pickups Wednesday.
- Miami Beach trash pickup is suspended at multi-family or commercial properties; single-family and bulk pickup, and recycling will operate as normal.
- Miami Beach residents can park their cars in public garages, away from flood-prone areas, through 8pm Thursday.
- Miami Gardens express trolley service will not run Wednesday.
What they're saying: "While Miami-Dade is fortunate to be spared the worst of Hurricane Ian, I cannot stress enough that this storm reminds all of us that we are in the peak of hurricane season," Levine Cava said at a press conference Tuesday.
- "Now is the time to make sure you and your family are prepared. Make sure you have a hurricane plan in place and that your hurricane kit is stocked."
Reminder: How to prep a hurricane kit
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the latest National Hurricane Center forecast.
More Miami stories
No stories could be found
Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Miami.