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Miami officials prepare to evacuate 660,000 residents

Gov. Rick Scott speaks at a press conference on Sept. 6, 2017. (CNN Newsource)

Mayor Carlos Gimenez says more than 660,000 residents of Miami-Dade County must evacuate and find hurricane-proof shelter as Irma bears down on Florida. The county plans to open 43 shelters with room for more than 100,000 people by Friday night.

That includes the homeless. The Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust says more than 1,000 people live on the streets in Miami, and only 300 have been evacuated so far. Many are willingly moving to shelters, but some have to be detained using the 'Baker Act', a law which allows officers to hospitalize people with mental illness against their will.

The Associated Press was there as Miami police handcuffed one man to evacuate a waterfront park. Another man resisted until police threatened to hospitalize him instead.

Ron Book works with the homeless trust — he says anybody who stays on the streets during this storm is "going to die."

Florida's emergency management division says nearly 6,000 people are already huddling in shelters ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Most of the evacuees are gathered in shelters in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, where catastrophic Category 4 winds are expected to hit this weekend.

Hundreds of thousands of residents have fled in anticipation of Irma's winds and storm surge, which have already killed at least 20 people in the Caribbean. Many roads leaving the state have been jammed with traffic.

Gov. Rick Scott has directed all public schools, colleges and universities and state offices to close through Monday at least to make them available for shelter and staging of recovery efforts.

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