Miami Beach’s Mayor Implores Residents To Heed Irma Evacuation Orders: ‘This Is A Nuclear Hurricane’

Earlier this week, Florida issued mandatory evacuation orders for the Keys ahead of Hurricane Irma’s anticipated Category 5 landfall this weekend. Those orders have expanded (although some counties are only issuing voluntary orders thus far) to include the Florida coast and part of Georgia as well. And it’s no wonder why, for no other storm on record has ever consistently maintained 185+ winds for such a duration as Irma. In Miami Beach, Mayor Philip Levine told Wolf Blitzer that Irma is a “nuclear hurricane.”

Levine (who, because he really means it, also said the same thing to Don Lemon last night ) insisted that he wasn’t speaking hyperbolically in any sense of the word. He urged residents and tourists to leave his city immediately:

“I don’t advise [riding it out.] We don’t need heroes … I never thought I’d say this … leave Miami Beach. Don’t come to Miami Beach.”

Throughout southeast Florida, evacuation orders are steadily being issued with similar seriousness. This Miami Herald chart shows Miami-Dade’s expansion of evacuation orders according to projected storm surge levels.

Also, it sure looks like Irma’s going to hit Atlanta, Georgia as well.

On a not-unrelated note, the two nuclear plants (the Turkey Point and St. Lucie facilities) that currently sit in Irma’s path are shutting down ahead of landfall. The reactors are fully encased within steel and concrete and are well above sea level with extra fuel and generators on hand. While some Turkey Point structures were battered by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the facility ultimately weathered the storm well. Yet Irma is an altogether different beast, so all fingers shall remain crossed until the system passes.

(Via Fox News, Miami Herald & CNN)