The Miami International Auto Show has postponed its opening as Hurricane Irma approaches the coast of Florida. The show's opening was slated for Saturday -- the day the storm is anticipated to hit.
The National Hurricane Center projects Irma will land as a Category 5 storm, the strongest recorded Atlantic storm outside of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.
"Our priorities are to provide any assistance that helps our community better prepare for this hurricane," Richard Baker, president of the South Florida Automobile Dealers Association, which organizes the annual auto show, said in a statement.
Baker added that organizers hope to open the show sometime next week, but will continue to work with the City of Miami Beach officials on when such an opening would be possible.
Baker told Automotive News that this is the first time the show would be delayed for a storm. When Hurricane Irene passed over the Caribbean, the show closed for only one day.
"You won't see a lot of people open as we're gearing down on it," he said of dealerships and businesses in the area. "You're never 100 percent scared, but you're never 100 percent ready, either. "
In a best-case scenario in which the storm turns away from South Florida, the show would open for half the original run time, Sept. 13-17. He said the show's opening date will depend on Irma's course later in the week.