Following is a statement from U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) as Florida prepares for Hurricane Irma:
“I’ve talked to Brock Long, the head of FEMA, he’s ready and is prepositioning people and supplies around the state. I’m talked to the commandant of the Coast Guard, Admiral Zukunft, and he is already prepositioning ships and aircraft to come in right after the storm hits. I’ve talked to Col. Kirk with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, he’s ready and says Lake Okeechobee still has the capacity to hold another three feet of water before this hurricane would threaten the dike. I spoke to General Calhoun with the Florida National Guard. They are ready and prepositioned. And I’ve talked to the secretary of transportation, Elaine Chao, and asked her to urge the state to go ahead and lift the tolls on South Florida’s roadways, particularly I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike, to make it easier for folks who are starting to evacuate.”
And from the Governor's office:
Today, Governor Rick Scott directed the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to suspend tolls across the entire State of Florida in preparation for Hurricane Irma at 5 p.m. Tuesday. By suspending all tolls, Floridians and visitors will more easily be able to prepare for any potential storm impacts, access important hurricane supplies, and quickly and safely evacuate when necessary.
Governor Scott said, “In preparation for the potential impacts of Hurricane Irma, I have directed the Florida Department of Transportation to suspend all tolls across the State of Florida to keep traffic flowing. They will be suspended for the duration of the storm’s impacts to Florida. Ensuring the safety of Florida families and visitors is our top priority and suspending tolls statewide will help people quickly evacuate and make it easier for all Floridians to access important hurricane supplies to ensure they are fully prepared. FDOT has been in constant contact with local districts and stands ready to provide traffic assistance alongside the Florida Highway Patrol and their law enforcement partners. We are continuing to closely monitor the developments of Hurricane Irma and will continue to take aggressive action to keep our state safe.”