‘No cause for panic.’ Miami-Dade mayor says get hurricane plans ready and monitor storm

DOUGLAS HANKS/dhanks@miamiherald.com

Miami-Dade County has begun the early stages of hurricane preparation as a tropical depression threatens South Florida, and Mayor Daniella Levine Cava urged residents to have their plans ready if the storm strengthens and heads toward Miami.

“We’ve been here before, and no cause for panic,” Levine Cava said at a Friday morning press conference at the FTX Arena in downtown Miami called to promote a county parade next month. “But we want everyone prepared.”

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The setting reflected the messaging for Tropical Depression Nine so far in Miami: keep an eye on it, but no need to alter plans. Levine Cava and other elected leaders spent most of their time promoting the planned Oct. 30 “Hometown Heroes” parade honoring healthcare workers and first-responders nearly three years after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

When Levine Cava fielded a question about the tropical system threatening South Florida, she was flanked by county Emergency Management Director Pete Gomez and Burnie the green-nosed Miami Heat mascot. Gomez said the storm’s projected path is too uncertain for Miami-Dade to do much except be ready to take action over the weekend if tropical weather becomes more likely.

“Right now, we’re monitoring the storm. Right now the key message to the community is: Be prepared,” Gomez said. “Make sure your hurricane plan is up to date.”

The National Hurricane Center on Friday said people in the potential path of Tropical Depression Nine should have their preparations completed by Monday night. In a statement on Twitter Friday morning, Levine Cava urged residents and visitors “to monitor the forecast of this storm as it is likely to become Hurricane Hermine [or Ian] in the coming days.”

Miami Herald staff writer Alex Harris contributed to this report.