Hurricane Irma Is ‘Bigger Than Andrew’
Wednesday, Florida Governor Rick Scott urged residents of his state to “be as aggressive as we are” in planning for the approach of monster storm Hurricane Irma.
- The NFL’s opening day game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Miami Dolphins has been postponed.
“We’re going to have wind, rain, and storm surge,” Gov. Scott said on national TV. “We don’t know where it will hit, likely Fort Myers and Naples, as is Miami. The Keys are already evacuating.”
The storm will bring wind, rain and storm surge, and “water could cover your house, so I want everybody to understand the importance of this. This is bigger than Andrew,” he said, referring to the last Category 5 storm to hit the US, which occurred in Y 1992. “It will have more storm surge than Andrew and it sure looks like it will barrel right down the middle of the state of Florida.”
Andrew, which hit South Florida in the middle of the night on 24 August 1992, was 1 of just 3 Category 5 hurricanes to make landfall in the United States.
The storm killed 65 people and caused $27-B in damages.
Irma is already a Category 5 hurricane, and has sustained winds of 185 mph and gusts up to 200 mph. Wednesday afternoon, forecasts call for the storm to head north of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, meaning the storm will cause strong winds and heavy rain, but will spare them a direct hit. Irma is expected to approach mainland Florida and the Keys Sunday morning.
Gov. Scott said state officials are working with retailers for food, water, and gas, to make sure all resources are available, and are urging the state’s residents to have a plan.
“Right now, we don’t believe we have any shortages, but if you’re out, if your store is out of water they’ll restock soon,” said Scott. “The same [goes] with nonperishable food and same as if you’re going to a gas station, they’re bringing in more gas. We don’t see any widespread shortages and don’t believe we’ll have them right now.”
He said he’s asking residents as they get prepared, to be sure to have three days’ worth of water and food per person in their households, if they’re riding out the storm.
“Take enough, but only take what you need,” he said. “Don’t take more, so we make sure we can take care of all of our neighbors.”
The important thing, he continued, is for Floridians to take care of their families.
“We can rebuild your home,” said Scott. “We can’t rebuild your life. Take care, prepare, and take care of your family. Be aggressive. We are at the state level.”
He said there will be more evacuations coming. People are leaving the Florida Keys, and in Miami-Dade County, they “did their special needs individuals today and they’ll be doing more.”
And as Irma advances, there will be mandatory evacuations ordered, and residents must listen to their local officials, he said.
“Just remember this could be an unbelievable storm surge,” said Gov. Scott. “We’re talking about water that could be ten feet, can go over your house, can go further inland. It’s way bigger than Andrew. Andrew was a big storm surge. This could be much worse, and it’s both coasts right now, right up the middle of the state, so everybody has to be prepared. You can’t rely just on the government.”
The NFL’s opening day game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Miami Dolphins has been postponed until November because of the expected landfall of Hurricane Irma in Florida over the weekend.
The NFL decided to postpone the game rather than moving it to a neutral site so that players and team staff can take care of their families as Irma approaches.
The game will be played on both teams’ shared bye week, 19 November rather than this Sunday due to the hurricane, which is currently a Category 5 storm making its way toward Florida