UPDATE: Irma has been downgraded to a catrogy 1 hurricane.
As Hurricane Irma rips through Florida, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office tweeted out a rather odd warning to residents as the storm approached: don’t shoot into the hurricane. This reaction was prompted by a viral Facebook event, which invited people to shoot their firearms into Irma. The event organizer said it was created out of boredom, though law enforcement took the extra step, among other things as the storm approached, to warn people about discharging their weapons (via The Hill):
“To clarify, DO NOT shoot weapons @ #Irma,” the Pasco County, Fla. sheriff tweeted. “You won't make it turn around & it will have very dangerous side effects.”
One of the creators of the event, Ryon Edwards, told Yahoo News that he created the event out of “stress and boredom.”
"I never envisioned this event becoming some kind of crazy idea larger than myself. It has become something a little out of my control,” Edwards said.
Other joke Irma events have been created in the days leading up to the storm, including “Push Hurricane Irma Somewhere Else” and “Peacefully Protesting Hurricane Irma.”
Florida is known for rather wild and wacky stories of crimes and other oddities committed by the state’s residents, so I guess this should be par for the course. In 2012, an intoxicated man shot and pierced the side of a water tower. Why? It really doesn’t matter. Who shoots a water tower? While these little gags might add moments of levity, thoughts and prayers are extended to the residents of Florida and elsewhere who are in the path of Irma. The storm was last reported as a category two hurricane as it made it’s way up the east coast.