Limbaugh to evacuate after calling Irma climate change ploy

Rush Limbaugh will be evacuating his home in Palm Beach, Fla., just days after stating that creating panic around hurricanes helps advance a climate change agenda.

“May as well announce this. I’m not going to get into details because of the security nature of things, but it turns out that we will not be able to do the program here tomorrow,” Limbaugh said on his nationally syndicated radio program on Thursday. “We’ll be on the air next week, folks, from parts unknown.”

Conservative political commentator and author Mark Steyn will fill in for Limbaugh of Friday

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Controversy swirled around Limbaugh throughout the week after the 66-year-old said that while he's "not a meteorologist," and nothing he says "should be considered to be a forecast or a prediction," he believes that hurricanes are often hyped to help increase ratings on the media side while driving sales for retailers who offer storm supplies. 

"There is a desire to advance this climate change agenda, and hurricanes are one of the fastest and best ways to do it. You can accomplish a lot just by creating fear and panic," Limbaugh said Tuesday. "You don’t need a hurricane to hit anywhere. All you need is to create the fear and panic accompanied by talk that climate change is causing hurricanes to become more frequent and bigger and more dangerous, and you create the panic, and it’s mission accomplished, agenda advanced."

"Now, how do you do this? Well, any number of ways," he continued. "Let’s take South Florida television, for example. There is a symbiotic relationship between retailers and local media, and it’s related to money. It revolves around money. You have major, major industries and businesses which prosper during times of crisis and panic, such as a hurricane, which could destroy or greatly damage people’s homes, and it could interrupt the flow of water and electricity. So what happens?"

"Well, the TV stations begin reporting this and the panic begins to increase," he added. "And then people end up going to various stores to stock up on water and whatever they might need for home repairs and batteries and all this that they’re advised to get, and a vicious circle is created. You have these various retail outlets who spend a lot of advertising dollars with the local media." 

After heavy criticism from The Washington Post and NBC weatherman Al Roker, among others, Limbaugh devoted considerable time on his radio show to insist he had also said Hurricane Irma, a deadly Category 4 storm with winds of up to 185 mph that has been tracking to likely hit South Florida for days, was "dire" and mammoth."

"It’s gonna affect Florida no matter where it goes. And the effects in Florida, depending on where, are gonna be damaging," Limbaugh said on his radio show on Thursday.

Limbaugh also said it would be "legally impossible" to do his program on Friday, which CNN security analyst Juliette Kayyem noted means his area of Palm Beach County is under mandatory evacuation. 

“Please evacuate as we are now telling you,” County Administrator Verdenia Baker said Thursday while urging residents to move to a local shelter or stay with family outside the evacuation zone.
 
“Evacuate miles — not hundreds of miles.”