Normally bustling Miami Beach turns into a ghost town after millions flee Hurricane Irma

The signature Art Deco hotels along Ocean Drive were all shuttered, a sullen sky yielded sheets of rain, and the elegant seaside palms swayed like elastic bands in the fierce wind.

Miami Beach, an iconic destination for generations of merry-makers, was a veritable ghost town Saturday in the aftermath of unprecedented evacuation orders in response to the threat from Hurricane Irma.

Although Irma appears likely to veer to the west and not hit Miami head-on, meteorologists say the area still faces potentially deadly, hurricane-force winds and storm surges of 3 to 6 feet.

On Saturday, as the storm’s effects began to be felt, relatively few ventured onto a wind-whipped and mostly deserted beach, normally filled with weekend revelers in search of sun.

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