MIAMI - Even though the city of Miami avoided a direct hit, Hurricane Irma's strong winds made an impact along with major flooding.
A Colorado native and her family decided not to evacuate and stayed in their South Miami home as the worst of the storm passed over. Alyendrina Padron says Miami-Dade County ordered people living along the coast itself, like Miami Beach, to evacuate but she and her family live further inland and were not told to leave.
Padron says they decided to ride it out and describe their experience as very intense. Their suburb of South Miami is nearly ten miles southwest of Downtown Miami, where gusts of wind reached up to 109 miles per hour.
Though the Padrons say they have a "really strong concrete house," not even those walls could keep out the howling noises just beyond them.
"[The wind] snapped a lot of my palm trees in half and some other fruit trees were uprooted," Padron said.
Originally from Cañon City, Padron has been living in Miami for more than a decade. She said she transferred to the University of Miami as a junior in college and stayed after meeting "the love of her life." She and her husband now have three kids.
While the family's South Miami home is okay for now, a second home on Florida's gulf coast saw the storm's worst.
"We do have a house on Marco Island and it looks like it's hitting directly right there right now," she told 9NEWS on Sunday afternoon. "It's very windy, it's very rainy and it's the biggest storm we've ever seen."
Padron and her family are getting more of their news through a battery-powered radio. They expect to stay inside a little longer as they wait for the outer bands of the storm to pass.
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