FEMA relief centers in Miami-Dade and Broward closed after overwhelming response

Several collection sites serving South Florida with Hurricane Irma assistance have been closed Saturday.

The Department of Children and Families program, also known as the Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, offers food benefits in 48 counties to households that sustained disaster-related losses and qualify under the program’s income limits. Activated in response to Hurricane Irma last month, the program gives successful applicants EBT cards with funds that activate within two to three days so they can buy groceries for the upcoming month.

According to authorities, the Amelia Earhart Park in Hialeah site was closed for “health and safety concerns” due to an overwhelming response. Organizers are regrouping to see what time they will open up Sunday with barricades.

Miami Dade College’s North campus was also closed.

In Broward, the three sites — Central Broward Regional Park in Lauderhill, C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines and Quiet Waters Parks and Recreation in Deerfield Beach — were also closed, due to law enforcement concerns for public safety, according to Paige Patterson-Hughes, communications director for DCF for the southeast region.

“For the customers who were in line, however, they will be served today,” she said.

They are scheduled to reopen tomorrow at 7 a.m.

On Friday, the sites at C.B. Smith Park in Pembroke Pines and the Central Broward Regional Park were also shut down temporarily due to the large crowd.

Two new FEMA Mobile Registration Information Centers opened Saturday in Miami-Dade at the following locations from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

▪ Homestead Regional Library, 700 N. Homestead Blvd, Homestead

▪ Westland Gardens Park, 13501 NW 107th Ave, Hialeah.

The center at the Stephen P. Clark Center, located at 111 NW 1st St., Miami, will remain in place until Monday.

At these centers, the FEMA Disaster Survivor Assistance teams can register individuals impacted by Irma for disaster assistance, update their records and make referrals to community partners.

In addition to the registration opportunity offered by recovery teams, survivors can also register for assistance at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or call l-800-621-3362.

So far, 1.1 million Floridians have been served with disaster relief.

Miami Herald news partner CBS4 contributed to this report.