In lighter hurricane news, the Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta, Georgia, is offering free admission to those displaced by Hurricane Ian this Saturday and Sunday.
We ask, is this a nice gesture, or a tacky and tone-deaf one during one of the worst storms in the state’s history?
“Our hearts go out to those affected by Hurricane Ian, and we understand there is so much waiting and worrying for those affected by the storm,” said Jon Vigue, vice president and general manager. “We want to provide an opportunity for those who have taken shelter in our community to step away and have a few hours of fun at Wild Adventures.”
Anyone who has been displaced by Hurricane Ian will be given free park admission Oct. 1 and 2 with a valid ID or proof of residency from Florida counties under mandatory evacuation: Alachua, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Flagler, Franklin, Gilchrist, Glades, Hernando, Highlands, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Nassau, Orange, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Seminole, St. Johns, Taylor, Volusia and Sarasota. A list of counties under evacuation orders can be found at floridadisaster.org/evacuation-orders.
The second annual Great Pumpkin LumiNight event is underway at the park, featuring towering tigers, gigantic giraffes, super-colossal spiders and more that are all made of pumpkins. Guests can also enjoy the tasty treats of The Pumpkin Spice Festival.
Wild Adventures Theme Park is located at the halfway point between Atlanta and Orlando off Interstate 75 and is home to more than 40 family and thrill rides, hundreds of exotic animals and Splash Island Waterpark.
For information see WildAdventures.com.
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2022 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide
ROAD CLOSURES: What to know about bridges, roads as Hurricane Ian approaches.
HOW TO TALK TO KIDS ABOUT THE HURRICANE: A school mental health expert says to let them know what’s happening, keep a routine and stay calm.
WHAT TO EXPECT IN A SHELTER: What to bring — and not bring — plus information on pets, keeping it civil and more.
WHAT TO DO IF HURRICANE DAMAGES YOUR HOME: Stay calm, then call your insurance company.
SAFEGUARD YOUR HOME: Storms and property damage go hand in hand. Here’s how to prepare.
IT'S STORM SEASON: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.
RISING THREAT: Tampa Bay will flood. Here's how to get ready.
DOUBLE-CHECK: Checklists for building all kinds of hurricane kits
PHONE IT IN: Use your smartphone to protect your data, documents and photos.
SELF-CARE: Protect your mental health during a hurricane.
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Rising Threat: A special report on flood risk and climate change
PART 1: The Tampa Bay Times partnered with the National Hurricane Center for a revealing look at future storms.
PART 2: Even weak hurricanes can cause huge storm surges. Experts say people don't understand the risk.
PART 3: Tampa Bay has huge flood risk. What should we do about it?
INTERACTIVE MAP: Search your Tampa Bay neighborhood to see the hurricane flood risk.