With Hurricane Irma — once again a Cat 5 — barreling down on Florida, the urgency for Floridians to evacuate has reached code red levels.
This was demonstrated best by a press conference held by Florida Gov. Rick Scott today when he urged all Floridians who have received evacuation orders to “leave now.”
“If you have been ordered to evacuate, leave now. Do not wait,” said Scott. “Evacuate. Not tonight. Not in an hour. You need to go right now.”
“If you’re in an evacuation zone, leave,” added the Florida Governor.
— ABC News (@ABC) September 9, 2017
According to CBS News, 5.6 million people — or more than a quarter of the sates population — has been ordered to leave the state in one of the country’s largest evacuations.
Around 540,000 citizens in George were also ordered to leave the state’s coastal area.
“This is a storm that will kill you if you don’t get out of the way,” National Hurricane Center meteorologist Dennis Feltgen said according to CBS. “Everybody’s going to feel this one.”
So far, Irma has killed 20 people in the Caribbean, and left thousands more homeless. With Irma’s devastation on display, Scott’s order to get out now should be taken very seriously.
Scott isn’t even taking chances with emergency personnel. According to CBS Miami, Scott ordered everyone from firefighters to police to get out of the state on Saturday morning.
“Once a dangerous storm starts, don’t dial 911 during it because nobody is going to answer,” said Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastes who echoed Scott’s “get out” in a statement.
“Hurricane Irma is a very strong, very dangerous storm that has life-threatening winds and even scarier storm surge potential,” he said. “Even the Coast Guard is evacuating all of its personnel. Please evacuate.”