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While many Florida residents have fled their homes in the face of Hurricane Irma, some “diehards” are defying the authorities and staying put.

President Trump has urged those in the path of the deadly storm “to heed all instructions and get out of its way”.

But some are refusing to leave their properties, ignoring mandatory evacuation warnings, and plan to ride out the hurricane at home.

Carl Roberts has stocked up on rum and take-away and is staying put

Image: Carl Roberts says rising water is the main threat, but he is on the 17th floor

One of them is Tampa resident Carl Roberts, whose beachside apartment overlooks the Gulf of Mexico.

Mr Roberts said: “I don’t have anywhere to go. My family is all dead, my mom and dad. I have a brother, but he has his in-laws in. My daughter is up at school in Washington, so I have nowhere to go.

“Also, I’m not all that worried about it because hurricane damage is primarily water rising, and I’m on the 17th floor. I have security shutters to put down if the wind gets high. So I should be quite safe here.”

:: Live updates – Hurricane Irma’s destructive path

With plenty of food, water and liquor stockpiled in his flat, he ignored the evacuation order to leave his building on Friday.

“As with any true Floridian, you begin with your rum selection, and I have quite a bit of rum and liquor. Everything is categorised thereafter. Once you’ve had the liquor, everything else is good.

Food, drink and rum are the order of the day

Image: The Tampa resident has stocked up on rum and takeaway to see him through

“I’ve got a lot of water over here. A case of water, plus three gallons, some Miller Light. Chinese food for tonight. I’ve got hamburger, sandwich stuff.”

And he has a plan B should the winds become so strong that he has to leave his flat: “This is the stairwell, and it’s just concrete, solid concrete, nothing but concrete,” he says. “If you hunker down here, you’re as safe as humanly can be.”

:: What is a Category 5? Hurricanes explained

Another person staying at home is Orlando resident and actress Cori Yarckin.

She told Sky News: “Growing up in Orlando it feels like every year there’s another hurricane. By the time it gets here it will have died down quite a bit, so we’re doing our best to hunker down”.

Ms Yarckin said getting hold of bottled water has been hard, but has collected together provisions ahead of the storm.

Actress Cori Yarckin says the authorities have done a great job

Image: Actress Cori Yarckin has praised the response of the authorities

Describing the atmosphere on the street, she said: “I think people are taking it really seriously, taking more precautions than you normally see.”

Referring to the local authorities who have organised shelter and evacuation, Ms Yarckin added: “It’s pretty much up to you if you heed those precautions or not, but they’ve done a really good job of getting the information out.”

:: Hurricane Irma v Hurricane Andrew

But ignoring the advice of the authorities and staying at home to weather out the storm can be a risky strategy.

Video: Trump warns diehards: Get out of Irma’s way

Storm tracker Von Castor told Sky News: “In certain places those people who stay will probably end up paying the ultimate price on this because they don’t understand what 160mph winds can do, and the storm surge and the waves on top of that.

“The flooding is what kills most people in hurricanes. So, as long as you’re away from the flooding, you can probably survive the winds. You just hope and pray for the best for all those who do stay.”

World News – Breaking international news and headlines | Sky News

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