Evacuation orders begin ahead of Hurricane Irma

Posted at 1:19 PM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 13:19:00-04

FLORIDA (WTXL) - Florida's Monroe County is issuing mandatory evacuations for visitors and residents.

According to Monroe County's official website, the county will be issuing a mandatory visitor evacuation expected to begin at sunrise on Wednesday.

They say an evacuation for residents also will be issued though the exact time has yet to be determined.

However, tourists and residents are encouraged to start evacuation plans now and the earlier people leave the Keys the less traffic they are likely to encounter.

“If ever there was a storm to take seriously in the Keys, this is it,” Monroe County Emergency Management Director Martin Senterfitt said. “The sooner people leave, the better.”

The announcement comes as Florida counties work to develop plans before the category 5 hurricane makes landfall in Florida.