Republican Florida Governor. Ron DeSantis became a viral sensation after he handled a CNN reporter trying to make the evacuations following Hurricane Ian a scandal.
On Wednesday, Hurricane Ian struck Southwest Florida as a Category 5 storm. Video footage showed the destruction caused by storm surges and high winds. Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno estimated that there could have been hundreds of deaths.
A CNN reporter asked DeSantis if he supported Lee County’s decision not to issue a mandatory evacuation order up until the day of the hurricane.
“Where was your industry located when the storm struck? Are you from Lee County? No. “You were in Tampa,” DeSantis replied immediately, referring to preliminary forecasts that the storm would strike Tampa, and not Lee County. “So they followed the weather track and had made decisions based upon that.”
DeSantis stated that although the hurricane’s cone was not headed towards Lee County at the beginning, there were shelters available in the area and everyone had the chance to get one. DeSantis claimed that most Lee County residents didn’t believe they were in danger because so much attention was paid Tampa. (RELATED: Terrifying Timelapse Of Hurricane Ian Shows Mass Devastation)
According to NBC News, search and rescue operations continue in Florida. The official death toll has now reached 83 overnight. The outlet reported that four people died in North Carolina following Hurricane Ian’s regaining strength over the Atlantic.