TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – People in Tampa are preparing for whatever Mother Nature throws their way. On Tuesday Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn told residents to be ready for anything.
Gov. Scott met with top local officials and emergency management officials. Along with Mayor Buckhorn, Hillsborough County Sheriff David Gee and Tampa Police Chief Eric Ward advised residents to get ready. The officials met at the Hillsborough County Emergency Operations Center.
“The state’s prepared. You look at everybody here? They’re experienced, but you have to do your part,” the governor said in response to a News Channel 8 question.
Mayor Buckhorn recalled last year’s record rainfall. “In this community, we know where the low-lying areas are,” Buckhorn said. “We know where the areas are that hold water in the City of Tampa. We have barricades pre-positioned already in the event we need to deploy those barricades.”
The Hillsborough County Emergency Operations Center will be activated on Thursday.
Nick Edwards lives in South Tampa. He said he’s as ready as he can be.
“Now whether I can get to work or not, that’s a different story,” Edwards said.
“Yeah, it’s my first big storm,” Selene San Felece said. “We don’t usually have warnings like this.”
The 21-year-old University of Tampa senior took a break from moving into her dorm room Tuesday to stock up on groceries.
“If I have to I can go out in the rain but I’d like to have food with me so if I don’t want to leave my room then I’m comfortable,” San Felece said.
Her mother needs to fly back to Maryland Wednesday. “I’m trying to head back tomorrow but I’m thinking I’m going to get stuck in the storm,” Oz San Felece said.
“Better safe than sorry,” her daughter said.
Once the storm passes standing water could fuel Zika concerns. Both Gov. Scott and Mayor Buckhorn want people to get rid of standing water. Pools of standing water serve as breeding grounds for mosquitoes. The goal is to prevent the spread of the Zika virus.