Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) gave a special thanks to three southern governors during a press briefing Wednesday evening for the the support that they have provided to the state of Florida as it gets hit by Hurricane Ian.
The hurricane slammed into the southwest portion of the state as a powerful Category 4 hurricane Wednesday afternoon, knocking out the power for well over 1 million Floridians. With winds initially reaching up to 155 mph upon landfall, Hurricane Ian is tied for the 4th strongest hurricane to ever hit the state.
“I want to thank the 26 states that have sent us support, including Tennessee, Virginia, Montana, New York, Colorado, Indiana, New Jersey, and Georgia,” DeSantis said at the press conference. “I just spoke with Kay Ivy from Alabama and she’s supporting, sending some Blackhawk helicopters down to help. Governor Bill Lee in Tennessee fast-tracked the request that we had from Tennessee. We appreciate that.”
DeSantis also gave a special thanks to Louisiana’s Democratic governor for the support his state has provided to Florida.
“I was also just able to speak with John Bel Edwards from Louisiana,” DeSantis said. “They’ve helped us, but he said, ‘hey, we’ve got a lot of experience in hurricanes recently so these guys are good, ask us, we want to send more,’ and so we really appreciate that consideration.”
Florida is grateful. pic.twitter.com/Vbq26Auzx7
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 29, 2022
The National Hurricane Center warned that a “catastrophic storm surge inundation of 12 to 18 above ground level” and destructive waves were expected along the southwest Florida coastline. The bulletin warned that “catastrophic wind damage” was already occurring as wind speeds reached up to 155 mph. Officials warned that the storm presented a “life-threatening situation” and that people needed to “take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising water and the potential for other dangerous conditions.”
DeSantis warned earlier in the day that residents in Charlotte, Lee, Collier, and Sarasota counties, if they chose to ignore evacuation orders, could no longer safely evacuate and they needed to prepare themselves for a bumpy ride.
“If you are in any of those counties, it’s no longer possible to safely evacuate. It’s time to hunker down and prepare for this storm,” DeSantis said. “This is going to be a nasty nasty day, two days. It’s going to get a lot worse very quickly. So please hunker down.”