The looming threat of Hurricane Irma has prompted the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals’ (OMHA’s) Miami Field Office to scale back its operations later this week.
“A state of emergency has been declared for Miami-Dade County, and OMHA has determined that for the safety of the public and our employees, the OMHA Miami Field Office will have limited operations on Thursday and Friday,” an announcement from the Field Office read. “If you are participating in a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge in the OMHA Miami Field Office scheduled for Thursday or Friday, please call the Administrative Law Judge’s legal assistant for the status of your hearing.” If you are unable to contact the legal assistant (for example, if the call is answered by the Field Office’s voicemail message system) and you are not contacted prior to the hearing, you “may assume your Thursday or Friday hearing is not being conducted and will be re-scheduled for a later date,” the announcement added.
Postponed hearings will be rescheduled when the Field Office resumes “normal operations,” the announcement added, but when that could be is anyone’s guess. With sustained winds reaching 185 miles per hour Tuesday, Hurricane Irma became the strongest hurricane in the Atlantic Basin since the National Hurricane Center began keeping records.
The Category 5 storm’s forecasted track would take it close to the northern coastlines of the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Cuba over the next several days before it potentially makes landfall somewhere in Florida, although forecasters are warning that there remains significant uncertainty regarding the precise track.
Mandatory visitor evacuation of the Florida Keys began Wednesday.