Hurricane Ian response: Gov. DeSantis defends SWFL evacuation orders - Tallahassee Democrat

Hurricane Ian response: Gov. DeSantis defends SWFL evacuation orders - Tallahassee Democrat

Hurricane Ian response: Gov. DeSantis defends SWFL evacuation orders - Tallahassee Democrat
Oct 01, 2022 1 min, 54 secs

“They were following the data,” DeSantis said in Fort Myers, about Lee County emergency managers who ordered evacuations Tuesday morning, a day before the deadly storm raced into the county with what he had described as “biblical storm surge.” ?

“When we went to bed Monday night, people were saying this is a direct hit on Tampa Bay, worst case scenario for the state,” DeSantis said, adding that state and county officials have been reviewing how they evaluated the storm’s course. .

“Even if it goes to North Florida, if it’s a big storm, you could see the impact in Naples and some of those areas,” the governor said.

‘The county screwed up,’ that’s the story, you’ll sell more newspapers,” Ruane said.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, who a day after the storm said “hundreds” were dead on the county’s barrier islands — a figure since discredited — said Saturday that the death toll in his county is at least 35, though it has not been confirmed by state officials. 

DeSantis and Florida Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie had pushed back at a Friday evening briefing in St

“You may recall that the governor had said if you’re in a situation where you should evacuate, we can 100% guarantee that you will not die from storm surge if you leave,” Guthrie said

Lee County was 73% out; Charlotte County, 77% without power; and Hardee County 88% of customers out, DeSantis said. 

Jim Eifert, adjutant general of the Florida National Guard, said 1,200 guard personnel are in place in Lee, Collier and Charlotte counties, a force expected to grow to 2,000 in coming days. 

DeSantis in the Hardee County city of Wauchula on Saturday afternoon said that SpaceX Chief Executive Elon Musk was helping Southwest Florida regain internet connectivity through his Starlink satellite service. 

DeSantis and Musk had a political moment in June, when the billionaire said he was leaning toward supporting the Florida governor for president in 2024

A county emergency official said Saturday she hoped a “good portion” of the county’s electricity would be back by the end of next week. 

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