Ron DeSantis Under Fire by Media Over Alleged Evacuation Mistakes
(TheRedWire.com) – The National Hurricane Center (NHC) changed its course prediction for Hurricane Ian several times on Tuesday, September 27. Forecasters first said the massive storm could hit south of Tampa. Then they stated it might go north toward the panhandle before moving it south again. The NHC repeatedly noted people shouldn’t focus on precise locations when a storm is within 3 to 5 days of landfall. Some said Ian was the most complex hurricane to forecast in years. Still, the media criticized Lee County officials and Gov. Ron DeSantis for not issuing evacuation orders sooner.
County officials said they waited to decide because they wanted to see how the forecast would evolve. Computer models settled on a consensus about the location only 36 hours before the massive hurricane hit near Fort Myers. On Tuesday, the county issued the evacuation order despite other counties issuing the order on Monday. Senior research associate at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School, Brian McNoldy, stated the county “botched” the order.
Ron DeSantis under pressure over "botched" Hurricane Ian evacuation https://t.co/9PwL3hlEqf
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) October 4, 2022
A spokesman for the governor asked how the county “botched” the order. On Sunday, DeSantis said the storm’s path was very uncertain as forecasters pointed north, then toward Tampa, and when it hit landfall, it was well south. He noted once the direction was clear, Lee County evacuated, opened shelters, and responded “quickly to the data.”
So, is the criticism fair, or is it just politics during an election year?
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