KEY WEST, Fla. -- All visitors in the Florida Keys are asked to leave the area.

A mandatory visitor evacuation begins at sunrise Wednesday, Sept. 6, in advance of Category 5 Hurricane Irma, according to Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi.

A mandatory, Keyswide resident evacuation is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday.

Visitors to the Keys must leave and people who are planning travel are asked to postpone those plans. The latest updates will be posted on

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"We value our visitors and want them to be safe," Gastesi said. "This is the reason why we need them to calmly leave the Keys with plenty of advance notice before the storm may reach our shores.

"We do hope they will return after the storm passes and we can reopen."

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