Valley natives in Florida brace for Hurricane Irma

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – As Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida, Valley natives living there prepare to evacuate.

Ray Mashorda lives in Pompano, near Fort Lauderdale, and Kassandra Ross is in Cocoa Beach. Both are in the path of Hurricane Irma. The storm’s 185 mile per hour winds are the strongest recorded for any hurricane to make landfall in the Atlantic.

“It’s a little scary,” Mashorda said. “Maybe a little more scarier than I thought it was going to be as it progresses along, but I am a tough guy. I can handle it.”

Irma is expected to hit the Florida Keys by Saturday. Florida Governor Rick Scott is urging people to evacuate. Already, 25,000 people have left the Keys.

Scott told CNN that he needs residents to take evacuation orders seriously. He stressed again that Irma is more powerful than Andrew, which devastated the state 25 years ago. Specifically, Scott is concerned about the storm surge.

“The storm surge can go miles inland. It can cover entire houses,” Scott said. “This is a big, big, big storm.”

Those who can’t leave are hunkering down as resources become scarce. Mashorda and Ross have already seen a run on necessities in their areas.

“They brought out five pallets of water and in 15 minutes they were empty,” Mashorda said.

Mashorda also local gas stations were already out of gas.

“Basically, everything you need is sold out within 24 hours if that,” Ross said.

Ross plans to evacuate by the weekend, but Mashorda is going to stay in Florida so he is there if anything happens to his or a neighbor’s home. He said he hopes to be there to minimize the damage.