Tampa Mayor Warns 'We Are About to Get Punched in the Face' by Hurricane Irma
On Sunday morning, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn warned residents about the dangers of going outside on Twitter, placing a 6 p.m. curfew on the city to keep residents safe and start clean up efforts.
“We are about to get punched in the face by this storm,” he tweeted. “We need to be prepared.”
Buckhorn added, “We know we are ground zero for this storm. We have avoided it for 90 years but our time has come to be ready.”
Florida Governor Rick Scott appeared on several morning news shows to ask for help in the aftermath of the storm.
“The most important thing is to pray for us,” Scott said on ABC’s This Week With George Stephanopoulos. “We have done everything we can to be prepared. I’m sure there is something else we could have done. I know a lot of people want to donate. If you want to do a $10 donation go to — text disaster at 20222. And we’re still asking for volunteers. We have opened over 4,000 shelters. We’re going to need volunteers to help us distribute food. You can go to VolunteerFlorida.org to volunteer as the storm passes.”
Scott said he had talked to President Donald Trump on Sunday morning.
“He said he’ll be praying for us,” Scott said. “He’s offered every resource there is of the federal government.”
Hurricane Irma made landfall at 9:10 a.m. ET at Cudjoe Key, Florida, packing maximum sustained winds of 130 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.
Florida residents who are hunkering down are already documenting its impact on social media, sharing videos of flooded streets, collapsed cranes and fallen trees.
Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses have lost power, according to the Associated Press. The Miami-Dade Police Department announced Sunday morning that they were pulling deputies from off the streets and would briefly be unable to respond to emergency calls.
At least three deaths were reported in Florida in relation to the hurricane.
ABC News reports a Monroe County man was killed after losing control of a truck that carried a generator as winds whipped at tropical-storm strength. Two others died in a car crash in the rain in Hardee County.
Irma, a Category 5 hurricane with 180 mph winds, hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday night after smashing a string of small northern Caribbean islands, leaving many residents without power.
Irma — one of the strongest storms ever recorded on the Atlantic — has killed at least 24 people in the Caribbean islands, according to CNN.
Another hurricane, Jose, strengthened to an “extremely dangerous category 4” storm, the National Hurricane Center said on Friday.