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ICYMI: Rubio Joins Fox & Friends
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Fox & Friends to discuss Hurricane Ian. See below for highlights and watch the full interview here.
On the most concerning elements of Hurricane Ian:
“The water [and] the flooding [are most concerning]. When we talk about storm surge and we talk about flooding, it’s important to just be frank. We’re talking about people drowning to death [and] dying because the water is way too high. They had to redo the number last night in the storm surge map because they don’t even have a color for 12 to 15 feet of storm surge, which is what is now being forecast for this area.
“So as I’m looking at it now and [it is] evolving…I worry, and now we pray for the people who didn’t heed these evacuation warnings. This is one of the reasons why those warnings come out so early and such a wide area is warned, because you just don’t know exactly what the areas are.
“If you’re anywhere on the west coast of Florida, certainly southwest Florida, you are in danger. You need to get away from the coastline and on to higher ground. We know now that there are some areas that are going to be hit harder than others, Charlotte Harbor is an example. We’re very worried about that. And then it’s going to move inland very slowly, drop a lot of rain, [with] high winds. So I don’t think this is going to be unique to just southwest Florida, it looks like central Florida is going to get hit pretty hard here as well. And we’ll see what happens with that as it moves up [the I-4 Corridor].”
On what the storm’s changed trajectory means for Tampa:
“Generally, in the Tampa area, all the businesses near the water there are closed. There’s a couple of hospitals that are close to the coastline. So you worry about that, how they’ve handled the evacuation, and how they’re going to be able to get people in there to rescue people as [the storm] actually goes through there.
“Tampa Bay is not out of the woods now. It’s not going to get the worst of it. It’s not going to get a 15-foot storm surge or 10-foot storm surge, but there is going to be a storm surge. There are going to be high winds. This is a massive storm. This storm is bigger than the state of Florida. It’s wider than the peninsula. So even if it doesn’t hit you, when we talk about it not going through Tampa or the eye of the storm is not going to go over Tampa, these winds are going to be in excess of hurricane force winds that are going to be in the Tampa Bay region. There is going to be a storm surge. It isn’t the worst thing that could have happened, but it’s going to be bad.
“If [you are] in the Tampa Bay area, I would not go back to your home. If you’re in an evacuation zone, everyone needs to stay [evacuated] until the all clear, which is probably not going to be, for most of the state, until very late Thursday or early Friday.”
On the potential federal response to the storm:
“The federal response is to back up the state. The primary responder is the state emergency operations center. I spoke to the governor last night again, and they sound like they’re in ready-to-go shape. Florida is very good at doing this. The federal response is to provide the state [with] whatever the state needs or might need. So far, from what I have heard and deduced — I’ll talk to the FEMA director later today — no Florida request has gone unfulfilled. Whatever Florida’s asked for, it’s either [the federal government has] it, or it’s been pre-positioned. And now it’s just kind of a wait and see of where it’s needed.
“I do think that the individual assistance that FEMA provides for people, not for the state, that process is one that we’re trying to get people ready for. There will be [damage]. There will be people left outside their homes. We put up a graphic yesterday…on social media and sent it around to the local stations about the kinds of documentations people need to have nearby, because that’s what they’re going to need when they apply for individual assistance if they need it after the storm passes.”