Many Floridians race to outrun Irma as others hunker down

It’s a race to outrun Hurricane Irma, the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic. The fury of the Category 5 storm was seen in the Caribbean, where at least 10 people were killed.

In Florida, more than half a million people live in mandatory evacuation zones. People along the Georgia coast have also been ordered to evacuate.

Irma is expected to reach Florida by Sunday morning, and is currently traveling with sustained winds of 175 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. 

Miami Beach, which is just a few feet above sea level, floods often in minor storms. The area’s most sought-after sand sat in a parking lot on Thursday. Families were able to fill 10 sandbags a piece to protect their home against Irma. A line of cars a quarter-mile long waited for their chance to shovel.

“It’s going to be terrifying,” said 16-year-old Diego Oropeza. “We’ve been watching the news all along and we think this is a big deal.” 

Families were able to fill 10 sandbags in preparation for Hurricane Irma. 

CBS News

In Miami-Dade County, 650,000 people were under a mandatory evacuation order Thursday evening, CBS News correspondent Mark Strassmann reports.

Gridlock gripped I-95 all the way to Orlando.

By one estimate, nearly 40 percent of gas stations in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale have run dry. Cases of water were also running low. 

“Coming out of the Southeast, especially, it’s a pretty bad scenario for Miami-Dade County,” Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giminez said.

Ahead of Irma arriving in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday that he’s directing all K-12 public schools, state colleges and universities and state offices to close beginning Friday until Monday.

“Floridians are facing a life-threatening storm in Hurricane Irma, and every family must prepare to evacuate,” Gov. Scott’s statement read. “Our state’s public schools serve a vital role in our communities as shelters for displaced residents and staging areas for hurricane recovery efforts. Closing public schools, state colleges, state universities and state offices will provide local and state emergency officials the flexibility necessary to support shelter and emergency response efforts.”

Irma is bigger and…

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