TAMPA, Fla. – It is a common trend among businesses and homes in Tampa; they’re all boarded up. On Saturday, Hurricane Irma shifted west, leaving Tampa in its path.
For weeks officials stressed to get out and head for safety. Saturday afternoon, that message changed. Officials said it people had not left yet, it was time to hunker down and ride out the storm.
“And this is why we’re saying it and saying it and repeating it. We issue these evacuation orders not light heartedly. It’s a very serious consideration to do it. But we only do it when we know that we have o for individuals’ safety and for overall public safety,” Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said, “For people to not heed that warning is a mistake it’s to their own detriment and potentially their own peril.”
Irma started to make landfall in Florida on Saturday night and is expected to be in the Tampa area by Sunday evening.
Meteorologists expect Irma to strengthen as it moves back over water before it heads toward Florida.