KEY BISCAYNE (CBSMiami) -- Mandatory evacuations are underway in Key Biscayne which is extremely vulnerable to storm surge and high winds. This as 'catastrophic' Hurricane Irma moves closer to Florida.
"It's going to be catastrophic. There will be people who perish in this storm if they stay. There is really no other way around it," said Key Biscayne Chief Charles Press.
Buildings in Key Biscayne, even those up to code cannot withstand the high winds and storm surge forecast during Irma.
"Condo dwellers need to understand that if you have storm surge, you will have no power, you will have no elevators. Safe places are always the stairwells - the concrete stairwells," said Chief Press.
City governments officials are evacuating the island and will return at the end of the storm.
"Safety is of paramount importance, so we will be evacuating and we urge you to evacuate as well," said Mayor Mayra Pena Lindsay. "Please do not stay. Your life is too important."
Residents should be aware that there will be no access to Key Biscayne. Once they leave the island, residents will not be able to go back until it is deemed safe.
"We do have a plan of coming back on the island. However, you need to know that once our government shuts down, the county will not allow anybody else back onto the island of Key Biscayne. It will be locked down. You can get out but you can't get back in," said Chief Press.
Those staying on the island should let the Key Biscayne Police Department know. You can contact them at (305) 365-5555. Give them your names and addresses so when they return, they can find you.
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