Florida Governor Rick Scott has given a final plea for people to evacuate as Hurricane Irma barrels down towards the peninsula.
My heart hurts for those left behind in Florida who were not able to leave for different reasons. Many people were stuck due to the lack of funds or the lack of fuel. Now they are left to bunker down and ride out the strongest hurricane to make landfall since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Scott said, “Evacuate now. Not tonight, not in an hour, you need to go right now. If you’re in an evacuation zone, leave.”
He continued, “This will cover your house,” Scott said, “You will not survive all this storm surge. This is a life-threatening situation.”
He then spoke about the storm surge that can reach anywhere between six feet to 12 feet high. Waves that high are deadly, as they can cover people’s homes.
Scott’s comments came as Hurricane Irma, a powerful Category 4 storm with maximum sustained wind speeds of 130 miles per hour, bore down on parts of Cuba and prepared to make landfall in the Florida Keys.
This week, the storm ripped through the Caribbean as a Category 5 hurricane, demolishing islands throughout the region on its way toward the U.S. mainland.
Now, as the storm threatens Florida, state and federal officials are acting aggressively to make final preparations, Scott said.
The governor said he has spoken to White House officials “almost every day” leading up to the storm, and that President Trump has “promised all federal resources” necessary for responding to the threat.
The governor said, “This is a catastrophic storm. We’ve never seen this before. It’s bigger than our state.”
More than 260 shelters are open across Florida’s 67 counties, and some 5.6 million people have been asked to seek shelter away from their homes, marking the largest evacuation in the state’s history.
By Friday, necessities like gas and bottled water were in short supply in some areas as residents desperately sought to ready themselves for the storm.
Scott concluded that they are working on the fuel shortage. He said,“After the storm, as soon as we can get fuel trucks moving, we’ll do it again. We all know fuel’s important, and we’re going to devote every state resource we can to get fuel here.”