Hurricane

‘You cannot survive this,’ Gov. Scott warns of Irma’s expected 12-foot storm surge

Gov. Rick Scott talks with NBC’s “Today Show” about Hurricane Irma during string of morning show appearances outside the state Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee on Sept. 9, 2017.
Gov. Rick Scott talks with NBC’s “Today Show” about Hurricane Irma during string of morning show appearances outside the state Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee on Sept. 9, 2017. kclark@miamiherald.com

Gov. Rick Scott began Saturday morning with an increasingly dire message for Florida residents in the path of Hurricane Irma.

“This is an unbelievably massive, destructive storm. It’s a killer,” he said during one of a string of morning show appearances as dawn broke at the state Emergency Operations Center.

With the western peninsula now forecast to take the brunt of the storm, Scott urged residents who have been ordered to evacuate to leave immediately.

“Look, it’s getting late,” he told viewers of the “Today Show” on NBC. “If you’re not on the road on the west coast by noon, you need to get to a shelter, get to a friend’s house if you’re in an evacuation zone. Get off the road.”

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“The storm surge is what really scares me,” he said on a different morning show. “Potential 12 feet of storm surge. Think about that. ... You cannot survive this.”

He added: “You have got to understand: This is different than something like [Hurricane] Andrew. We didn’t get the storm surge in Andrew. This is going to impact both of our coasts. It’s a big, big storm.”

Florida Gov. Rick Scott urges residents who live in an evacuation zones to not wait, and instead leave now before the possible arrival of Hurricane Irma during a press conference on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2017.

Scott began Saturday with a weather briefing at the state EOC, and then a string of back-to-back interviews with “Good Morning America,” the “Today Show,” “CBS This Morning,” and The Weather Channel.

He departed Tallahassee around 7:30 a.m. to head to Sarasota for a press conference at 9:15 a.m. His schedule for the rest of the day has not yet been released.

Kristen M. Clark: 850-222-3095, kclark@miamiherald.com, @ByKristenMClark

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