As residents of south-eastern United States are preparing for Hurricane Irma’s imminent approach, the Governor of Florida warns residents: “Do not sit and wait for [Irma] to come. Get prepared now.” Water, canned goods and other supplies are selling out as people prepare for the worst.
Watch: Floridians prepare for Hurricane Irma’s landfall
While Hurricane Irma continues to sow destruction in the Caribbean, Florida Governor Rick Scott warned residents on Thursday that the storm expected to make landfall in the continental US on Saturday night will be severe. The governor pleaded with the residents: Be attentive to the weather forecast and obey the authorities.
In a series of tweets he posted on Twitter, Scott stressed that Irma should not be taken lightly. “The NWSNHC (National Hurricane Center) is reporting that Hurricane Irma remains a dangerous and life-threatening Category 5 storm with winds of 180 miles per hour,” he wrote.
The governor noted that Irma is “bigger, faster and stronger” than Hurricane Andrew, which devastated the state in August 1992, killing 65 people and damaging $26.5 billion worth of property. “I cannot stress this enough,” he said in a press conference on Wednesday, “do not ignore evacuation orders. Remember: We can rebuild your home but we cannot rebuild your life.”
Orit Feigelman, an Israeli living in Miami, Florida, told Channel News 2 about the preparations ahead of the hurricane: “It’s the calm before the storm- the pressure is rising as the time gets closer.”
“Most of the gas stations have run out of fuel,” she added. “The shelves with the water in all the supermarkets are completely empty, there are stores selling water for $50, an exorbitant price. People are buying bread and canned goods, all kinds of resources that don’t need refrigeration. People tried to buy generators but now they’re sold out.”
“Residents who won’t leave of their own free will- the security services or the police will come and simply evacuate them to shelters,” Feigelman said. Last night, an evacuation order was issued in many of the southern provinces of Florida. Thus far, 25,000 residents have been evacuated.