Update: Watch Miami-Dade Mayor discuss Hurricane Isaias

Isaias has strengthened to a Category 1 Hurricane
Posted at 5:02 PM, Jul 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 10:09:58-04

Miami-Dade mayor Carlos Gimenez held a press conference Friday morning regarding Hurricane Isaias. It has strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane.

The storm will bring heavy rain and tropical storm force winds tonight, as the state remains under a Tropical Storm watch.

"Miami-Dade is in a sliver of the cone, but there is still a lot of uncertainty about the track," Gimenez said.

Hurricane shelters remain on standby, but the mayor says it is still too early to tell if they will be needed.

In preparation for power outages, the county has reached out to more than 2,000 people who have registered for transfer to a safe place. These are people who are medically dependent on machines such as respirators. If you would like to be added to this list please call 311. The county cannot transport anyone once the storm has started.

Closed COVID-19 testing sites will be reopened as soon as possible, which could be as early as Monday, once the weather clears. All parks, marinas, ans golf courses will also be closed.

Restaurants that have established outdoor dining should begin to move any tables, chairs and tents indoors, the mayor said.

July 30, 5:03 pm

As tropical storm Isaias passes through Puerto Rico, Miami-Dade county mayor Carlos Gimenez encouraged residents to make sure they're prepared.

The mayor said the storm could bring heavy rain, about 3 to 4 inches, and tropical storm force winds to South Florida over the weekend.

"It possibly, but not probably, could be a Category 1 hurricane," he said.

There is still a lot of uncertainty on the track, but if the storm stays off-shore once it passes the Dominican Republic, there is a chance it could strengthen to a hurricane.

Those living in surge zones should know their evacuation routes and have their plan prepared.

At this point, there is no plan to open shelters, but 20 shelters are on standby and stocked with the equipment needed to open. Due to the pandemic, they will be different than usual.

"We have to have more space per person, so we're going to have to open more shelters because of the social distancing," he said.

Shelters will have PPE, masks and hand sanitizer for all attendees. There will also be more cleaning being done than usual to keep areas like bathrooms disinfected.

If residents do have to evacuate to shelters, they will be screened at the entrance for any COVID-19 symptoms and have their temperature taken. Those who have symptoms, are COVID positive, or have been in contact with someone who has it, will be placed inside classrooms of these shelters, away from everyone else.

"Now is definitely the time for all residents and business to check their disaster kits," Gimenez said.

You should have enough food and water for everyone in your home to last at least three days. Make sure you also have batteries and that all other hurricane supplies, like generators and radios, are working correctly.

Due to the storm all state-funded COVID-19 testing sites will close Thursday at the close of business. However, the mayor said this should not disrupt the wait time for results on tests that have already been taken, but if the path of the storm changes, it might.

"I hope this storm just goes away," Gimenez said.