Everyone who lives on the east coast of the United States, especially the South and the Gulf Coast, is aware of when hurricane season starts, June 1, every year. Coastal and inland dwellers are all impacted by serious storms.
Those on the coast have to balance staying at work and keeping businesses open with making hurricane plans either for hunkering down for the storm or boarding everything up, moving boats, and evacuating. The size and nature of each storm, as well as the predicted tracks, come into [lay when residents are making those decisions.
Inland dwellers may have family or friends on the coast who may be coming to visit during the storm for a few days, but power outages on ports can and usually do mean grocery or gas shortages or closed stores and gas stations.
No matter where you are, everyone gathers materials and supplies, makes their plan A, B, and C and watches the radar and forecasts to know how to proceed.
Southerners are so used to this drill that every August the jokes and memes start, such as the inevitable “Is Jim Cantore here yet?” regarding whether or not a storm is expected to be of note.
Governors know that multiple hurricanes take their toll on business and income each season, and know that their residents are aware of all the procedures. Suggested evacuations allow a timeline for residents to relocate if they are able and adjust their business schedules, and a staggered evacuation is ideal since a sudden, mandatory evacuation means all roads will be clogged and resources strained during that period.
Recent Hurricane Ian was followed diligently by weather forecasters as it crossed the Atlantic, crossed the Caribbean, and headed north to devastate Cuba. as The storm continued North toward Florida, predictors were doing their best to hone in on a landfall location for the Cat 4 storm. early reports were indicating the Tamp area would be the likely location. Emergency vehicles staged there in preparation, and Tampa residents, including boaters traveling at slow speeds, evacuated north and south.
Except that Ian decided to change course slightly, and hit Ft. Myers instead. Just as, after Ian had crossed Florida and gathered speed in the Atlantic to head for South Carolina as a Cat 1, the entire coast of South Carolina waited to see where landfall would actually be. Predicted first to be Hilton Head, the storm decided instead to landfall between Charleston and Georgetown.
Such is the planning for hurricane season every year, a guessing game aided by technology, but some media thinks that governors should have a magic ball to indicate the future when storm planning.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis jumped in immediately after Ian to activate all rescue and assessment plans and sent aid immediately to the hit areas.
Rather than ask about the efforts underway, a CNN reporter decided to question DeSantis on his planning. The reporter must not have been watching the Weather Channel to be unaware of predictions, and the timeline for preparedness and evacuation.
DeSantis pushed back on CNN when the outlet questioned him about why a mandatory evacuation in Lee County was only in place the day before Hurricane Ian made landfall Townhall reported.
As DeSantis War Room posted on Twitter, “DeSantis does not have tolerance for gaslighting.”
“Why do you stand behind Lee County’s decision to not have that mandatory evacuation until the day before the storm,” correspondent Nadia Romero asked the governor.
“Well, where was your industry stationed when the storm hit? Were you guys in Lee County? No, you were in Tampa,” DeSantis fired back.
The governor then ran through the difficulty of making calls to evacuate based on constantly evolving hurricane models.
But Romero continued pressing, wondering why counties neighboring Lee County issued mandatory evacuation orders earlier.
Hindsight is 20/20, the Republican reminded her.
“We had most of our supplies stationed in the Tampa Bay area. As that track moved, we shifted our response further south as well,” he replied.
Perhaps reporters on location in hurricane areas need to be aware of factors pertaining to preparedness and evacuation, in the case that this was ignorance of the situation.
Or maybe the fact that Gov. DeSantis is a Republican who has been mentioned as a possible presidential candidate has something to do with the truly amazing question that was so irrelevant at that moment, and the reporter’s persistence with the question.
— Christina Pushaw 🐊 🇺🇸 (@ChristinaPushaw) October 3, 2022
The irony of @CNN asking this question of the Governor is RICH.
Their station played a part in hyping the Tampa area all week leading into storm.
Their viewers were fed that message show after show & segment after segment. https://t.co/ads8PDQioL
— Christian Ziegler 🇺🇸 (@ChrisMZiegler) October 3, 2022
CNN is a disgusting outlet and should be ashamed of themselves by trying to score political points for their democrat buddies while real Americans regardless of party are suffering and lost everything. Shame on you https://t.co/3pGW0iIIjd
— 🇺🇸Jbiv4🇺🇸 (@JB4iv) October 3, 2022
Social media lit up with coastal people proclaiming the real situation:
“Absolutely! I’m a native Floridian, lived here my whole life this is the best response I’ve ever seen to a hurricane in this state. I wish I could shake his hand and thank him for everything. I’ll be heading to Ft Myers tomorrow with a truck load of supplies. Florida strong!”
Watch DeSantis speak plainly here: