Florida Gov. Warns Residents to ‘Prepare for the Worst’ as Trump Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Hurricane Irma
As Hurricane Irma raged into a category 5 hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Gov. Rick Scott issued a warning to residents on Tuesday, urging them to prepare for the worst.
“In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” Scott said during a press conference. “And while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared.”
As Scott warned residents if his state, President Trump approved the Governor’s request to declare a “pre-landfall emergency” for the entire state.
Irma is the most powerful storm to form in the Atlantic, according to the National Hurricane Center, so in a bid to encourage people to leave Scott has suspend all tolls in Florida on Tuesday.
Scott, 64, activated the Florida Air and Army National Guard Tuesday morning, according to his website. Seven thousand National Guard members will be reporting for duty Friday morning to help with preparation efforts.
— Rick Scott (@FLGovScott) September 5, 2017
“It is incredibly important that all Floridians pay attention to this incredibly dangerous storm,” he said. “Do not sit and wait to prepare. Prepare now.”
Late Tuesday, the White House declared a pre-landfall emergency for not just Florida but also Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will now mange all disaster relief efforts to those areas.
Hurricane Irma has strengthened into an “extremely dangerous” Category 5 storm over the Atlantic Ocean, the National Hurricane Center said early Tuesday.
Irma was heading west with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph, well above the 157 mph threshold for a Category 5, making it the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Felix in 2007. The hurricane is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days, the center said.