‘Money is tight’: CBS News reporter says people can’t afford to flee Hurricane Ian

Harold Hutchison, DCNF

Some of the residents riding out Hurricane Ian are doing so because they cannot afford to flee, a CBS News reporter said Wednesday.

“Aren’t you in a mandatory evacuation zone, and if not, did you get a sense of how many people left the area?” CBS News co-host Tanya Rivero asked correspondent Omar Villafranca.

“I’m glad you asked that question, because a lot of people have been asking me about that. When it’s a mandatory evacuation, there are no officers going door to door knocking, saying, ‘Come with me, we have a bus ready, we’re going to take you.’ It is basically just covering themselves.” Villafranca told Rivero and co-host Lana Zak. “They’re saying, ‘It’s a mandatory evacuation, you should leave, get out of here, go to higher ground, go to a shelter.’”

WATCH:

Hillsborough County, Florida, officials ordered a mandatory evacuation Monday as Ian approached the Gulf Coast of Florida.

“But a lot of people ride it out, they always do,” Villafranca continued. “They either feel safe in their place or they don’t have anywhere else to go. They don’t want to get in traffic. Money is tight right now. A lot of people cannot go 30, 40 miles inland just to spend a few hundred dollars for it, they just can’t afford it. People are riding it out.”

A gallon of gasoline costs an average of $3.396 in Florida, according to data from AAA. The Consumer Price Index rose by 8.3% year-over-year in August following year-over-year increases of 8.5% in July, 9.1% in June, and 8.6% in May.

The economy contracted by 0.9% in the second quarter of 2022 following a 1.4% decrease in gross domestic product in the first quarter. GDP shrinkage in two consecutive quarters is a common metric used to define a recession, according to Investopedia.

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