CHICAGO, IL (September 6, 2017) – Members of Covenant churches in Florida and Mississippi have begun to evacuate farther inland ahead of Hurricane Irma.
The family of Covenant chaplain Mark Torres has evacuated from the coastal town of Gulfport to Jackson, Mississippi, after arrangements were made with the Spencer Perkins Center there. Mark is in Spain, said Robert Owens, superintendent of the Southeast Conference.
Gulfport was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and scientists say Irma has the potential to be far worse than the 2005 storm.
Sarah Robinson, pastor of Audubon Park Covenant Church in Orlando, Florida, said one family in her congregation already has evacuated and others also were preparing to leave once the direction of Irma became clearer.
Broward County, which is north of Miami, ordered residents living in low-lying and coastal areas as well as in mobile homes to leave. Evacuation is to begin noon at Thursday, and 14 Broward emergency shelters will open Thursday.
Miami-Dade County was holding off on issuing a mandatory order, but officials said it could be given at any time.
The Covenant has several churches in the area.
Scientists say that models vary widely as to where the storm might hit and travel, but Irma most likely will strike South Florida Friday or Saturday and pack winds of at least 145 miles per hour.