(JustPatriots.com)- Florida Governor Ron DeSantis fired back at a reporter who suggested that evacuation orders of Lee County was delayed during Hurricane Ian, according to Mediaite. The governor pointed out to the CNN national correspondent Nadia Romero that they were stationed in Tampa, not Lee County, and the weather track was different.
The late mandatory evacuation order was also scrutinized by The New York Times, which mentioned that other counties along Florida’s Gulf Coast issued orders days ahead of Hurricane Ian reaching them.
“Lee County, which includes the hard-hit seaside community of Fort Myers Beach, as well as the towns of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Cape Coral, did not issue a mandatory evacuation order for the areas likely to be hardest hit until Tuesday morning, a day after several neighboring counties had ordered their most vulnerable residents to flee…” The Times reported.
Despite the criticism, DeSantis defended Lee County’s order.
“Why do you stand behind Lee County’s decision to not have that mandatory evacuation until the day before the storm?” Romero asked DeSantis.
“Well did you—where was your industry stationed when the storm hit?” DeSantis replied. “Were you guys in Lee County? No, you were in Tampa.”
“So they were following the weather track and they had to make decisions based on that,” DeSantis continued. “But, you know, 72 hours, they weren’t even in the cone. 48 hours they were on the periphery, so you have to make the decisions best you can. I will say they delivered the message to people. They had shelters open. Everybody had adequate opportunity to get to a shelter within the county. But a lot of the residents did not want to do that. I think probably for various reasons. Some people don’t want to leave their home, period, they’re island people, whatever.”
DeSantis also praised Elon Musk’s Starlink internet satellite system, which enabled people to communicate with friends and family when much of the areas had no electricity or phone signal.