MIAMI – Miami Beach officials allowed residents, business owners and visitors to return on Tuesday to the barrier island, which had been closed as Hurricane Irma approached last weekend.
Even before the island reopened at 8:00 am, there were long lines of vehicles waiting on the causeways connecting Miami Beach to neighboring Miami.
Police were on hand and no problems were reported in contrast to the situation on Monday, when thousands of vehicles were trapped on the causeways when authorities prevented people from returning.
On Sunday, after taking the hit from Irma, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine sealed off the barrier island due to the dangerous conditions on streets and roads littered with fallen trees and downed power lines.
Municipal officials said public beaches will start operating normally on Wednesday and some parks already reopened.
Sunny Isles Beach, a city just north of Miami Beach, also closed due to Irma, which toppled utility poles and trees.