Gov. Scott warns Florida is running out of time as Irma nears

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Governor Rick Scott urges people to put their family’s first. If you’ve been ordered to evacuate, get to an emergency shelter now.

The governor visited Hillsborough County’s Emergency Operations Center today and his message was loud and clear—Florida is running out of time.

“This is a catastrophic storm that this state has never seen before,” said Governor Scott.

Hundreds of thousands are evacuating and are snarled in massive traffic tie-ups on the interstate.

To alleviate the knot, vehicles will be allowed to drive on the shoulder of the interstate from Wildwood to Georgia.

The Governor urged evacuees to get off the roads and go to a local shelter.

If they can’t get out, they should call the state emergency helpline at 1-800-342-3557.

“You have to call now, you cannot call in the middle of the storm,” warned the Governor. “You have to call so we can get you out.”

Scott warned gas will not be resupplied until after the storm, and said those worried about gas should also call the state emergency helpline.

He’s ordered school buses to aid evacuations. All 7,000 Florida National Guard troops have been activated. Two hundred officers with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission are on standby for search and rescue operations after the storm rolls through.

The Governor stated utility companies are prepositioning resources throughout the state to address power outages.

He urged people to take precautions, get to a shelter and watch out for each other.

“I encourage everyone to check on your neighbors,” added the Governor. “If someone in your neighborhood is not evacuating and should, please contact them. Take care of each other.”

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