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Tampa mayor, Hillsborough Co. leaders discuss Ian preps

TAMPA — Hillsborough County leaders on Sunday discussed their plans for Ian, with their main message to residents: Be prepared.

“We know from history that things can change on a moments notice,” Mayor Jane Castor said about the uncertain forecast. “So we are prepared here in the city of Tampa.”

“We are working on every single level but we need you, we need the citizens to be prepared as well,” she said.

The county on Saturday declared a state of local emergency through Sept. 30. The emergency declaration gives the County Administrator and emergency managers the ability to quickly take certain actions to ensure the health, safety, and welfare of the community, and provides a path for federal reimbursement of certain expenses.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has also declared a state of emergency across the state.

Sheriff Chad Chronister also spoke at Sunday’s news conference. He thanked residents for taking advantage of sandbag sites but warned of the flooding danger that’s possible from Ian.

“During a storm like this, the No. 1 killer is flooding,” he said. “Our area, our community, our county is already saturated with a lot of water.

“If an evacuation order is given, please heed that warning,” Chronister said. “You don’t want to be that family or individual that calls for help and us and our partners, first responders can’t get to you.”

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