The Latest: Troopers: Disabled cars on turnpike to be towed

The Latest on Hurricane Irma preparations in Florida (all times local):

8:45 a.m.

The Florida Highway Patrol says troopers are monitoring the high volume of traffic heading north on Florida's Turnpike as people evacuate South Florida.

In a news release, the highway patrol said extra troopers, road rangers and wreckers will be on the roadways to help drivers whose vehicles have become disabled.

The agency says disabled vehicles left on the shoulders of the highways will be towed staring Thursday morning to make it easier for emergency workers who are trying to reach crash victims.

Turnpike officials are also using cameras along the road to monitor conditions.

Anyone needed help can call (asterisk)FHP to get assistance.

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4:22 a.m.

Residents in parts of the Miami metro area are under mandatory orders to leave their homes as Hurricane Irma barrels toward South Florida with potentially catastrophic winds.

Mayors in Miami-Dade and Broward counties issued mandatory evacuation orders starting Thursday morning for barrier islands and low-lying mainland areas in the metro area of 6 million, where forecasters predict the hurricane with winds of 180 mph (290 kph) could strike by early Sunday.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott strongly urges people to evacuate if asked to do so by local officials. The governor also says he expects the state's gas stations to have fuel Thursday, after talking with fuel retailers a day earlier.