The Latest: Florida urges evacuations, warn of flooding

The Latest on Hurricane Irma in Florida (all times local):

1:15 p.m.

Authorities are knocking on doors and urging Florida residents who live near the Withlacoochee River to evacuate, warning of potential record-high flooding in the coming days in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Hernando County Sheriff’s officials said in a news release Saturday that their officers, along with firefighters and wildlife officials encouraged residents in Talisman Estates, Riverdale and other flood prone areas to leave. Hundreds of residents are being urged to leave but authorities said that number could increase as the waters rise in the coming days.

Authorities said flood levels at Trilby are expected to reach 17 feet (5 meters) by Monday morning and could exceed that later in the week. Flood levels at Croom are expected to rise to about 11 feet (3 meters) by Monday morning.

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10:45 a.m.

Officials in the Florida Keys are stepping up plans to let residents and business owners re-enter the area to check on their property.

Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark said in an email that residents, business owners, disaster workers and supply workers can go all the way to Marathon, at Mile Marker 47 just north of the 7 Mile Bridge, on Saturday.

At 7 a.m. Sunday, the county plans to open up U.S. 1 to those same groups all the way to Key West.

A checkpoint in Florida City, on the mainland south of Miami, will remain in place to ensure only these groups are admitted into the Keys.

Clark said an additional checkpoint at Mile Marker 47 will control admittance into the Lower Keys.

She advises anyone re-entering the county to understand that medical services, food, water and electricity are extremely limited. Anyone returning should bring provisions for several days.

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10 a.m.

Students in two of the nation’s largest school districts still don’t know when they’ll return to class, forcing many Florida parents to juggle childcare as they head into a second week of recovering from Hurricane Irma.

Miami-Dade and Broward counties had hoped to resume operations Monday. But dozens of schools in the two districts — which serve almost 700,000 students — are still without power. An announcement is expected this weekend.

The uncertainty is putting additional stress on parents trying to return to work.

Forty-five-year-old Lori Eickleberry took her 10-year-old daughter to her office. She said it’s challenging, “but we kept busy with activities, some coloring.”

In some southwest Florida districts, classes have been postponed until Sept. 25. In Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, students remain in limbo.


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