Miami a ‘Ghost Town’ Ahead of Hurricane Irma
The normally bustling Miami and its namesake beach have been deserted ahead of Hurricane Irma.
Photos shot Thursday and Friday show empty beaches, empty streets, and empty highways in Miami, a city of 500,000 people.
The airport was totally deserted, according to photos and videos uploaded to social media.
The National Hurricane Center said Irma weakened from a Category 5 storm to a Category 4 system—but it still packed winds of 150 mph.
“No doubt [about] landfall in Florida anymore, just a matter of exactly where & who gets the worst damage. Hurricane force wind gusts peninsula wide, said Dave Epstein, a meteorologist with CBS.
“No longer any spread or uncertainty about landfall of Hurricane #Irma … this is happening for sure, unfortunately,” added Ryan Maue, a meteorologist and hurricane expert.
The death toll from the havoc the storm left on its way rose to 21 people Friday. Some islands were virtually flattened with photos showing extreme devastation.
“We are running out of time. If you are in an evacuation zone, you need to go now. This is a catastrophic storm like our state has never seen,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said, according to Reuters.
While earlier forecasts predicted Irma will move north along the eastern coast of Florida, forecasts from Friday, 2 p.m. ET show the storm traveling closer to the western coast of the peninsula, according to weather models by the University of Wisconsin.