National

54,000 Facebook users want to direct fans at Irma to blow it away from the coast

By Teresa Welsh

twelsh@mcclatchy.com

People in the path of Hurricane Irma feel helpless to stop the destruction that may be coming their way.

But not everyone has given up hope: Over 54,000 people have RSVP’d as “going” to a lighthearted Facebook event directing people to simultaneously turn on their fans to blow Irma back out to sea. The event’s time and location are to be announced, the page says, depending upon where the storm makes land on the continental U.S.

“Everyone takes their fans outside and points them at Hurricane Irma to blow it away from us,” the event description says. “Air compressors with a blow gun attachment also a plus, or anything else. Get creative.”

The event was started by Facebook user Joshua Stanaland, who according to his profile lives in Ruskin, Florida, which is on the western coast of the state, across Tampa Bay from St. Petersburg. The current path of Irma shows the storm tracking over nearly the entire state of Florida, with the eye most likely brushing off the east coast.

Needless to say, with Irma’s sustained winds at 175 miles per hour, electric fans — even 54,000 of them — won’t prevent the largest Atlantic hurricane ever recorded from threatening land. Residents in the path of the storm are urged by authorities to comply with local evacuation orders and properly secure their homes and businesses when possible.

Some parts of Florida have been evacuated as the storm is expected to make landfall over the weekend. The hurricane decimated the Caribbean island of Barbuda and was pummeling Puerto Rico Wednesday night. Current forecasts show the storm impacting the Carolinas after it blows past Florida.

Two other hurricanes, Katia and Jose, also formed in the Atlantic Wednesday. Katia is headed for the eastern coast of Mexico and Jose could follow in the path of Irma.

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