Crews are working around the clock to restore electricity across the city grid, according to city emergency management officials, but they are offering no guarantees of full and consistent power through the next 72 hours.
The announcement came as the National Weather Service predicted a continuation of freezing rain and hazardous conditions through Wednesday.
As of 6 p.m. Sunday, an estimated 1,000 customers in Miami were without power, according to Miami City Manager Michael Spurgeon.
Some had lost power within the hour, others had been without power for the biggest part of the day or had experienced intermittent periods of service.
Determining a percentage of the city that is without power has been difficult, according to Spurgeon.
As we clear limbs and restore power in one area, another limb or tree falls and brings an outage down the line, Spurgeon said.
The northwest part of town appeared to be the hardest hit as reports of power loss began to come in around 6 a.m. Sunday, according to Spurgeon, as tree limbs encased in about a half-inch of ice broke free and forced power lines to the ground in that city quadrant. Later in the day, lines began to fall on the city's southwest side.
Charlie Tomlin, a 28-year veteran of the city staff, said the volume of damage reported Sunday is the most he has seen as a result of a single storm. Tomlin was among several city leaders who met Sunday evening to assess work accomplished regarding streets, power and trees. Twelve hours prior, Miami Emergency Management Director Gary Brooks activated the city's Emergency Operations Center and rallied volunteers.
The city's full force is working in shifts, round the clock, to address cleanup, according to Spurgeon.
No general assistance (from other municipalities) is available, Spurgeon said. This storm is widespread and everyone is working in their own communities.
Tim Wilson, the city's public works director, said street crews were expected to salt and sand bridges and overpasses into Wednesday as needed as freezing rain and low temperatures were causing ice accumulation in those vulnerable areas.
Street crews will spend today pushing debris from city streets - the majority of which are littered with tree limbs and downed trees. They will also assist with tree trimming to ward off future failures.
About a dozen elderly residents sought shelter in a Red Cross facility set up within the Miami First Assembly of God Church. Most were on oxygen and needed to find power, according to Red Cross Service Center Director Tammie Lewis.
City officials are encouraging residents to seek the warmth of the shelter and will provide transporation to the facility for those who have special needs.
It is our obligation to get those people to safety, Spurgeon said.
Those who need a ride to the shelter are asked to call the operations center at 541-2247. In the case of medical or fire emergencies, calls should be directed to 911 or the Miami Police Department at 542-5585. The Red Cross number is 1-800-494-0275.
Residents are asked to note the following:
City crews cannot restore power to homes where weather heads or meter boxes have been pulled away from the structure. The box must be reattached before service can be restored. Property owners should contact an electrician. Those who are not financially able to have the repairs done are encouraged to contact the Red Cross for direction to assistance resources.
Priorities for power restoration are primary power lines, followed by secondary lines and, lastly, service lines.
Debris in residential yards should be cut into manageable pieces and placed at curbside for city pickup. However, removal is currently not expected to begin until next week.
Residents who want to take debris to the city's solid waste site may do so. There will be no charge for debris produced by the ice storm.