- Floodwaters raced into Miami on Sunday as Hurricane Irma drove storm surges that could reach five feet
- The city’s normally bustling streets were deserted by all but a foolhardy few as the waters crept higher
- Officials warn of ‘significant to devastating’ impact from storm surge as well as dangerous floating debris
The streets of Miami have been reduced to a watery ghost town, as the storm surge from Hurricane Irma pushed into the city.
The city’s normally bustling streets were all but abandoned on Sunday afternoon, when even the foolish and the brave retreated to higher ground as the waters swept over roadways.
Video from Miami showed the wind-lashed waters flooding apartment buildings along the canal, which cuts right through the heart of downtown.
Other images showed the city’s streets in a state of ghostly desertion, as the waters began to rise and wind-tossed debris posed a dangerous threat to anyone still in the area.
Surge flooding on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami as Hurricane Irma strikes the city and empties streets on Sunday
Recently planted palm trees lie strewn across the road as Hurricane Irma passes through Miami Beach on Sunday
An unidentified person walks through surge flooding on Biscayne Boulevard as Hurricane Irma strikes in Miami
Heavy rains flood the streets in the Coconut Grove area in Miami on Sunday during Hurricane Irma
Water flows out of the Miami River to flood a walkway as Hurricane Irma passes through Miami on Sunday
Boats are seen at a marina in Coconut Grove as Hurricane Irma arrives at south Florida, in Miami on Sunday
‘Potential impacts from the main surge event are also now unfolding across coastal Miami-Dade County,’ the National Weather Service said in a flash bulletin on Sunday. ‘Remain well away from life-threatening surge having additional significant to devastating impacts.’
‘The storm surge threat is not only limited to the immediate coast but also extends further inland. The storm surge threat is a potentially deadly situation,’ the agency.
At 2pm, Miami Beach officials said emergency services were suspended until winds drop below 40 mph, and no one will be allowed into the city until roads have been cleared.
The city will continue a mandatory 8pm curfew for the next two nights.
‘Pray, pray for everybody in Florida,’ Governor Rick Scott said on Fox News Sunday of Irma, which now has maximum sustained winds of 120mph.
Four people are confirmed dead since the storm made landfall in the US early Sunday morning.
The rough waters where the Miami River meets Biscayne Bay shows the full effects of Hurricane Irma strike in Miami
A partially submerged car is seen at a flooded area in Coconut Grove as Hurricane Irma arrives at south Florida in Miami
Interstate 95 Northbound is deserted as Hurricane Irma passes by. Anyone left is the city is urged to shelter in place