Starting at 6 p.m. Sunday, all Tampa residents are under a mandatory curfew, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced during a late morning news conference carried live on Facebook.
He said the curfew will be indefinite or until a neighborhood is deemed safe from downed power lines, overturned trees and storm debris.
“The curfew will help us do our jobs to get in and clean up,” Buckhorn said. The police chief said violating the curfew is a misdemeanor.
Buckhorn said that the city is expected to be ground zero for Hurricane Irma: “We have avoided it for 90 years, but our time has come to be ready.”
Waxing philosophical, Buckhorn quoted the boxer Mike Tyson, “Everybody has a plan -- until you get punched in the face. We’re about to get punched in the face.”
The city is making a final push asking residents to secure their outdoor areas and locate a safe place in their homes if they’ve not evacuated. Law enforcement is also asking residents to call them if they see someone unfamiliar roaming through their neighborhood.