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Tampa Mayor Jane Castor. (CNN)
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor held a press conference on Monday afternoon to address the city’s preparedness for Hurricane Ian.
Castor talked about the possible dangers of storm surges, saying “we are looking at the possibility of having a 10-to-15-foot storm surge.”
“Clearly, that would be very devastating for our community,” said Castor.
Castor advised residents to heed the warnings and not “make decisions at the last minute.”
“We can never accurately predict these storms. It’s mother nature, and the one element that wins 100% of the time is mother nature,” said Castor.
“Right now, the prediction is we are going to be impacted by Hurricane Ian,” added Castor.
Earlier in the day, evacuation orders were announced for parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. Castor said 49 shelters are open, including some accepting pets and others accommodating residents with special needs.
“The city of Tampa is prepared, and we want to make sure that all of our citizens are prepared,” said Castor.
Castor advised the public to stay informed by signing up for update alerts as “things can change minute by minute.”
On Monday, the City of Tampa’s Citizen Information Line was activated to help residents with “urgent questions regarding the storm.” Residents can call the center for immediate assistance until 8 p.m. ET on Monday, and every other day from 8 a.m. ET until midnight until further notice.
“This is going to be a storm like we have never seen in the past,” said Castor, adding, “I want everyone to understand the seriousness of this situation.”
“We’re not trying to instill fear. We’re just asking everyone to be responsible, to be cognitive of what this storm can bring us,” said Castor.