ISLAMORADA, Fla. – Monroe County will begin to order mandatory evacuations ahead of Hurricane Irma.
The mandatory evacuation order for visitors is expected to begin at Sunrise on Wednesday.
While evacuations for residents will also be issued, a time for those to start has yet to be determined, Local10.com reports.
“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.”
Shelters in Monroe County remain closed in a Category 3 hurricane or higher, meaning Keys residents will need to evacuate to the shelter at the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition grounds at 10901 S.W. 24th Street in Miami.
Emergency Evacuation Bus pick-up stops will be set up for those who need transportation to evacuate. CLICK HERE for a list of bus stop locations.
Monroe County has also ordered its schools closed starting Wednesday as Hurricane Irma approaches as a vicious Category 5 storm.
Superintendent Mark Porter made the announcement Tuesday, saying schools will remain closed. A school board meeting for Thursday has also been canceled.
Porter urges families to take the time to prepare for Irma's possible impact.
All three of the county's hospitals have begun plans to evacuate patients, while the country's government offices and parks will close Wednesday.