Tampa Mayor: Everyone Has Plan 'Until Punched in the Face'

Tampa Mayor: Everyone Has Plan 'Until Punched in the Face'”

Neighboring St. Petersburg announced a 5 p.m. curfew. "We work all year round to prepare for this even though we haven't taken a direct hit since over 90 years".

"We can expect to have days, if not weeks without power", he said.

Hurricane Irma was forecast to hit Tampa and other highly populated areas of the Florida west cost as a Category 3 storm.

"We think we're ready, but obviously until you get into this situation you're never going to know. right now I got hundreds of people who are ready to go help their fellow citizens".

"What we really fear more than anything is that storm surge", Buckhorn told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Sunday.

He said the city will begin to experience hurricane-force winds after 6 p.m. ET while the eye of Hurricane Irma will pass over the area around midnight.

"We are taking this curfew very seriously", Buckorn said. We train hard. We practice hard.

"We have all of our officers on the streets now", Buckhorn said of the Tampa Police.

The city will assess conditions as soon as officials can get police helicopters in the air after the storm and lift the curfew on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis where feasible.

It is believed around 72,000 people have sought refuge in Hillsborough County shelters.

As of Sunday night, 112,759 customers for Tampa Electric had lost power, the utility said on its website.

"Well", he added, "we're about to get punched in the face".

As of 6:00pm today we are putting a curfew in place.

"Be cognizant, once you get back in your neighborhood of who belongs there and who doesn't", Buckhorn said.

"So look out for your neighbors, take care of each other", he said.

'If you don't need to be out, don't go out.

Police said they have been working for three or four days to get homeless people to go to shelters, but, Buckhorn said, "not all of them choose to go".

People caught outside after 6pm could be arrested and face misdemeanor charges.

As the storm approaches and hits, Tampa police and fire will not be dispatched to calls for help once sustained winds hit 40 miles per hour.

As of around 2 p.m. ET, low pressure of the approaching storm was pulling water from shore as it churned at 9 miles per hour with sustained wind speeds of up to 130 miles per hour, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

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