Hurricane Ian on path to make landfall in Florida

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Sarasota, Florida, Mayor Erik Arroyo told CNN on Wednesday that the city is withdrawing its police officers from the streets because of the hazardous conditions

“We just made the decision just now to withdraw all of our police officers from the streets just because of the sustained wind pressure that we’ve been having,” Arroyo said.

According to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, “individual agencies decide when to pull first responders from the road during severe weather events. Some agencies have already made this decision, others will be doing so soon.”

Arroyo encouraged everyone still in the city to “heed the governor’s warning and stay hunkered down.” 

“It is too late to evacuate at this point. So everybody in zone ‘A’ and ‘B’ will be feeling the effects of this hurricane first. They will be feeling the storm. And that is why we tried to evacuate them a while back,” he said.

Arroyo listed the preparations that have been put in place, including the utilities department ensuring generators were ready to go and the parks and recreational department is removing items that could become projectiles.

Asked about how the possible 12 to 24 inches of rain could impact Sarasota, Arroyo said “let me just tell you that 10 inches of rain is enough to have your car floating around, so these are very serious conditions that everyone should take seriously.”

Arroyo said that the city has been preparing for Hurricane Ian since last week. “We saw the impact it could have,” the mayor said.

“So at this point, all we have is ourselves as a community, so take care of your neighbors. Because we’re in this together. And we’ll make it through,” he said.