by Lisa A. Grimaldi | September 06, 2017
As Hurricane Irma barrels toward Florida, officials from two counties followed Monroe Country's lead and called for evacuations. A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for coastal residents of Broward County, including Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton. 

"Irma is a dangerous storm and all residents should take it seriously. Everyone should be finalizing their plans and completing their preparations today and tomorrow," Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said.  At press time, the Port Everglades and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport remained open, but the county advised passengers to check with their airline or cruise line for possible delays or cancellations.
 
Miami-Dade County's Mayor Carlos Gimenez did not call for an evacuation today, following reports that the storm was approaching Florida slower than expected, according to press reports. He warned that residents living on barrier islands and in low-lying mainland areas might still be asked to leave ahead of the hurricane.  
 
Early today, tourists began leaving from the Florida Keys, following Monroe County's evacuation order; residents are set to follow.
 
State agencies are in high gear with emergency planning ahead of the storm. Following Gov. Rick Scott's  issuance of a State of Emergency early this week, Visit Florida, the state's convention and visitors bureau, posted a hurricane advisory on its website. The bureau also activated its partnership with Expedia.com/Florida to provide accommodations information for visitors, residents and first responders. The agency has urged its members to visit the Florida Division of Emergency Management's website [floridadisaster.org/getaplan/] to help make their plans and be prepared ahead of time. The emergency site for real-time updates can be found here.