MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Florida Governor Rick Scott told residents to take Hurricane Irma “seriously” as the storm “bigger than our entire state” moves closer.
“Based on what we know now Florida will have major hurricane impacts with deadly storm surge and life-threatening winds and we can expect this all along the eastern coast of Florida,” said Governor Scott.
The governor said to look beyond the forecast track of the eye of the storm.
“This thing is bigger than our entire state right now,” said Governor Scott during a press conference in Hialeah Thursday morning.
Later in the day, he said, “This storm has the potential to catastrophically affect our state.”
The Florida Keys should be ready to start feeling the effects of the storm as early as tomorrow but other cities more up North should keep an eye on Hurricane Irma.
“Regardless of which coast you live on, be prepared to evacuate,” said Gov. Scott.
Throughout the day the governor urged locals to not sit and wait through this storm which is forecast to hit South Florida this weekend.
“If you’re told to evacuate, get out quickly,” said Governor Scott.
For those who have an issue evacuating and are in an evacuation zone, call 1-800-342-3557 for help.
“Do not wait..we can’t save you once the storm starts,” said Gov. Scott.
As for those trying to evacuate the governor said they are working to keep roads open and fuel available.
“We’re going to do everything we can to keep these roads open,” said the governor.
The governor said fuel is a top priority.
“We have to get the fuel as fast as we can out so everyone has enough fuel to evacuate,” said Gov. Scott.
The National Guard is helping with shelters and evacuations in the state.
If you are evacuating, you do not need to move hundreds of miles away or get out of the state. You can opt for a friend or family’s home that is inland or go to a shelter.
The governor urged anyone wanting to volunteer to do so. They need about 17,00 volunteers. Those wanting to help can call 1-800-354-3571.
As the storm approaches the governor said we all need to weather out the storm together but prepare our families.
“We’ve got to survive this storm and then we’ve got to get back,” said Governor Scott.
If we do lose power, Scott said there is already a plan in place.
“I’ve talked to all utilities.They are all bringing crews into the state,” said the governor.
Florida Power & Light has already enacted its emergency response plan to get power back up quickly.
The governor said he also spoke to President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence who said they are ready to help the state.
At last check, all state offices in Florida are closing Friday in preparation for Hurricane Irma. Parts of Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Collier County are under evacuation orders. All of Monroe County is being evacuated.
For more information, you can also call Florida’s Emergency line at 1-800-342-3557.. A major issue during hurricanes is price gouging. If you believe you’re a victim of price gouging call 1-866-966-7226 to report it.
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