Cities undertake many defensive preparations when major hurricanes are bearing down on them, but here’s a new one: Officials in Miami have ordered six companies that operate fleets of electric scooters to remove them from the streets before Hurricane Dorian hits and potentially turns them into dangerous flying projectiles.
NBC News reports that city officials directed the scooter companies Bird, Bolt, Jump (owned by Uber), Lime, Lyft and Spin to remove all scooters by noon Friday. Some scooter companies also said they’ve removed or thinned their fleets of scooters in the cities of Fort Lauderdale, Tampa and Orlando. A Miami city commissioner even used the hashtag #scooternado in a tweet.
— Ken Russell Miami (@kenrussellmiami) August 29, 2019
The latest update on Friday had Hurricane Dorian upgraded to an actual hurricane as a Category 3 major storm, with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph and moving northwest at 10 mph. It could make landfall on the state’s east coast as early as late Monday, then roll inland toward Orlando. The storm is expected to slow its forward speed in the coming days, which would help it gain strength and gather moisture from the Caribbean Sea, fueling heavy rains, a pushing storm surge and powerful winds.
Dockless electric scooters have exploded in popularity in cities across the globe in recent years. They weigh up to 40 pounds, are made of metal and feature a deck that swivels around the handlebar riser — not the kind of thing you want being tossed about by hurricane-force winds.
The Associated Press recently reported that it had found at least 11 deaths involving electric scooter riders in the U.S. since the beginning of 2018.