Florida authorities have issued a stern warning to those shooting into Hurricane Irma: shooting bullets into the storm won’t help keep you safe.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office tweeted late Saturday: “DO NOT shoot weapons @#Irma. You won’t make it turn around and it will have very dangerous side effects.”
The sheriff’s office, which is in the Tampa Bay-area, was responding to a Facebook event page created by two Florida men inviting people to shoot at Irma.
The page reads: “YO SO THIS GOOFY … LETS SHOW IRMA THAT WE SHOOT FIRST …” While the invitation was presumably a joke, 80,000 people indicated they were “going” or “interested” in the event.
The organizer of the event, Ryon Edwards, later posted to Facebook claiming that he created the event out of “sarcasm.”
“Well guys, it’s here. The moment we’ve been waiting for. It was cool to see the response this got from facebook. On another note, I’ve learned that about 50% of the world could not understand sarcasm to save their lives. Carry on,” Edwards posted.
In a tweet early Sunday, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office asked the thousands of people who had shared the page to also share their request for volunteers needed at hurricane shelters.
Hurricane Irma has made landfall in the Florida Keys and has left devastation in its wake. The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the center of the massive hurricane made landfall on Cudjoe Key in the lower Florida Keys at 9:10 a.m. Its top sustained winds are 130 mph (215 kph).
After hitting the Florida Keys, Irma was forecast to move up the state’s Gulf Coast later Sunday.
The first fatalities in Florida were confirmed this morning as two residents were killed in a head-on collision.
Florida utility officials say more than 1 million customers have lost power as Hurricane Irma hits the state.
Florida Power & Light Company said that nearly 1.1 million customers statewide were without power Sunday morning. About 574,000 of those outages were in Miami-Dade County, while there were 360,000 in Broward and nearly 136,000 in Palm Beach County.