Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday that for those living in Naples, Fort Myers, Sarasota and the Tampa Bay region, Hurricane Irma has the potential to be the “sort of worst-case scenario that meteorologists and emergency planners dread.”
There is “virtually no part of Florida that is not going to be impacted by the storm,” Rubio said on “Face the Nation.”
Speaking from his home in West Miami, Florida, shortly before Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys, Rubio said that Irma hitting the western coast of the state is “the worst possible route this thing could’ve taken.”
“This is a very unique storm because of its size and scope. You usually are able to say that there’s some safe place in the state that you can go to. In this particular case, virtually the entire state is being impacted by the storm,” Rubio said.
He urged people to listen to local officials.
“If you are in one of the storm surge areas, it is important for you there’s still a chance to get out, to heed those warnings. This is not going to turn, it’s not going anywhere else, it’s coming in the next few hours. You’re probably feeling the effects of it already,” said Rubio.
When asked if he thinks people have taken things seriously ahead of Irma, Rubio said people “have really responded.”
[It’s] the most massive evacuation I think in the history of the state, millions of people have moved. And I think coming in the aftermath of those images from Harvey people have really jumped on it. So, I think the bigger concern that we have is we’ve got this is a very unique situation. The whole state is impacted.”
He warned, however, that there is “probably no safe place to be.”
“You can’t hide from the water. That’s our biggest fear,” Rubio added, noting the storm surge will not arrive until the storm passes.
“I know our local officials have been working hard to move people. The problem we have is there’s nowhere to move. The whole state is being impacted by this,” he said.