MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Florida Governor Rick Scott had warnings for all of Florida as Hurricane Irma’s rain bands reached parts of the state.
“The storm’s here,” said Governor Scott while in Sarasota on Saturday. “Everyone in Florida needs to find a safe place to go.”
The governor urged those especially in southwest Florida evacuation areas to find a safe place before noon. He said if you haven’t left by that time then stay put reiterating by saying the storm is “going to go faster than you are.”
Irma’s eye is expected to strike the Florida Keys, southwest Florida and the Tampa area, according to the National Hurricane Center. The core of the storm is expected to miss South Florida’s populated southeast coast but residents will still experience life-threatening hurricane conditions.
The governor said they expect a storm surge of 6-12 feet which is why the governor is urging all residents to take cover.
“This will cover your house,” said Governor Scott.
At last check, more than 260 shelters are now open across the state with another 70 expected to open by the end of Saturday. Click here for a list of open shelters in Florida.
Nearly 20,000 people have already lost power with more outages expected – something the governor addressed.
“We’re going to be very aggressive in getting power back on,” said Governor Scott.
As others take cover, the state is looking for more volunteers – specifically, volunteer nurses. The governor said they need about 1,000. If you would like to volunteer, call 1-800-354-3571.
On a federal level, Scott said he spoke to President Donald Trump who has ‘promised all federal resources’ when it comes to Irma relief.
For more information, you can also call Florida’s Emergency line at 1-800-342-3557 or visit their site here. 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.