Tampa, Florida, is inching closer to a direct hit from Hurricane Irma with every update. The city will be getting severe winds and heavy rain from the storm as it moves through the center of the state. The center of the storm will most likely run somewhere between Tampa and Orlando, perhaps somewhere in Polk County.
Evacuation routes for Tampa and all of Hillsborough County can be viewed in the image below or by clicking the following link to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
On September 4, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Irma’s arrival, according to Fox 13 News.
“Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm and Florida must be prepared,” Scott said in the declaration. “I have declared a state of emergency for every county in Florida to make certain that state, federal and local governments are able to work together and make sure resources are dispersed to local communities as we get prepared for this storm,” he added.
Subsequently, Tampa’s mayor, Bob Buckhorn, followed suit in the early hours of Wednesday, September 6. Mayor Buckhorn impressed on Tampa residents the need for prudent action and preparation.
“The magnitude of this storm is unlike anything we have seen,” Buckhorn told the media. “It is potentially catastrophic. It is potentially devastating. It is certainly life-threatening.”
Buckhorn urged new residents, who may not have experienced a hurricane season in Tampa, to “err on the side of caution.”
The most recent models for Hurricane Irma project the storm moving closer to Tampa. Tampa residents choosing not to evacuate have been busy stocking up on supplies, with multiple outlets reporting on stores running out of bottled water and gas stations without fuel to sell.