As Hurricane Dorian barrels toward Florida, packing sustained winds of 150 mph, residents are taking all of the standard precautions ― stocking up on supplies, battening down the hatches and anticipating potential evacuations.
But a new reality they’ve had to face? Securing hundreds of e-scooters that could turn into deadly projectiles once the Category 4 storm hits.
Miami City Commissioner Ken Russell shared preparation tips on Thursday, confirming that all scooters would be removed from the streets by Friday, topping off his tweet with the ominous hashtag, “scooternado.”
Though flying scooters may sound like a nightmare scenario pulled straight from the plot of a horror film, for areas like Miami, it is a very real challenge presented by the advent of the trendy transportation.
Lyft, which has already picked up 244 of its scooters for storage in a warehouse, told HuffPost on Saturday that safety is of paramount importance.
“We have temporarily paused all scooter operations in Miami and securely stored the scooters ahead of Hurricane Dorian, per City requirements,” company spokesperson Kaitlyn Carl said. “We will resume operations only once conditions improve and will continue to follow the guidance provided by the City of Miami.”
Bird, another e-scooter company operating in Florida, also told HuffPost it “is extremely committed to the safety of our riders” when it comes to dangerous weather conditions, and is continuing to monitor the storm with local authorities.
“This includes pausing our service when weather does not permit safe riding, and can sometimes lead to removing Birds from the road during periods of inclement weather such as a hurricane,” a spokesperson said. “We are collecting and safely storing our scooters in the City of Miami.”
Lime additionally confirmed that it, too, is pulling its fleets off the road, including bicycles. The measure is being taken not only in Miami, but also in Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. It is also cutting back on its offerings in Tampa.
“This amounts to nearly 1,500 scooters and 500 bicycles total,” a spokesperson said. “We’re in touch with each city and will comply with any request to prioritize safety. We’re also communicating with our riders to let them know of these steps and to encourage them to follow the guidance of their local authorities and remain safe.”
According to CNBC, a list of additional companies ― Spin, Bolt and Uber-owned Jump ― have also been ordered to pack away their scooters.
Dorian is expected to begin skirting the Florida coast on Tuesday.