Politics

Rubio: Irma Taking ‘Worst Route,’ Entire State ‘Being Impacted’

Florida official warns hurricane has become 'worst-case scenario that meteorologists and emergency planners dread'

Sen Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) warned Floridians that Hurricane Irma is taking the “worst route” possible, all but ensuring that “the whole state’s being impacted by this,” speaking during an interview Sunday on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday after state residents spent days bracing themselves for the impact. More than six million Floridians evacuated from their homes in preparation for the deadly hurricane, which blazed a trail destruction throughout the Caribbean last week. Irma’s eyewall is expected to reach the Tampa Bay area on the west coast by Sunday’s end.

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“Hitting the west coast of Florida is the worst route this thing could have taken,” Rubio said Sunday on “Face the Nation.” “The problem we have is there’s nowhere to move — the whole state’s being impacted by this.”

Rubio warned that Irma has the potential to become the “sort of worst-case scenario that meteorologists and emergency planners dread.”

“This is a very unique storm because of its size and scope. You usually are able to say that there’s some safe place in the state that you can go to. In this particular case, virtually the entire state is being impacted by the storm,” Rubio added.

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The Florida senator said he was encouraged by the state’s preparations for Irma and how it has been handling the hurricane thus far.

“[It’s] the most massive evacuation I think in the history of the state, millions of people have moved. And I think coming in the aftermath of those images from Harvey people have really jumped on it,” Rubio said, referring to the hurricane that ravaged southeastern Texas and southwestern Louisiana over a week ago.

“I know our local officials have been working hard to move people. The problem we have is there’s nowhere to move. The whole state is being impacted by this,” Rubio added. “You can’t hide from the water. That’s our biggest fear.”

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) said Sunday on ABC News’ “This Week” that he spoke to officials in the Florida Keys early in the morning, noting that they are “getting pounded” by Irma.

“We’re going to get everything. We’re going to get all the winds of [1992’s Hurricane] Andrew. We’re going to get this across our whole state, because it’s so big. But we’re also going to get the storm surge,” Scott said. “This state has never seen a storm surge like this.”

“This is going to go up our west coast. We’re going to have 10 to 15 feet above ground level of storm surge,” Scott added. “So I hope everybody listened.”

The governor noted that he had spoken with President Donald Trump earlier in the day, and that he has talked to the president “pretty much every day” in preparation for Irma — the second major natural disaster to occur on Trump’s watch.

“[Trump] said he’ll be praying for us. He’s offered every resource there is of the federal government,” he said, adding that “we’re going to make sure every person in the state is taken care of to the extent we can.”

“The most important thing is to pray for us. We have done everything we can to be prepared. I’m sure there is something else we could have done,” Scott said. “Just pray for us.”

(photo credit, homepage and article images: Gage Skidmore)

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