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17 September 2017, 12:23 | Glen Norman
She told the station: 'It was horribly unnerving for me'.
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"I kinda panicked for a minute, then I just knew I had to provide a transcript of what was being said for the hearing impaired", he said. That's when they turned to county lifeguard Marshall Greene, who has some experience in sign language from communicating with his brother, who is deaf. She said she was horrified when she saw the broadcast.
Instead, she said, members of the county's deaf community were left having to rely on relatives who could hear, or texted friends and family to try to get updates on what was happening as Hurricane Irma struck Florida.
"Who is this person you are using as a sign language interpreter?"
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Many of those were homes and businesses that will have to undergo repairs before they are ready to receive electricity again. Irma also broke records at FPL, which had almost 4 million of FPL's 4.90 million customers affected by outages.
He also wore a yellow top - interpreters usually wear a colour that contrasts against their skin tone, making their hands stand out.
County leaders said they were "in a pinch" when looking for an interpreter.
That, in addition, is never done.
"Everybody was talking about it on social media", he told the WFLA news channel.
"It was obvious to me he wasn't a professional interpreter. I was totally shocked", Chris Wagner, former president of the National Association of the Deaf, told WFLA.
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We spoke with the interpreter's family Tuesday night.
While getting ready to prep the public with "crucial" information leading up to Hurricane Irma's impending arrival, Manatee County leaders found themselves without a deaf interpreter.
Greene's family said he was simply asked to help out during a hard time.
Members of the local deaf community have demanded an apology from Manatee County, saying the error was risky and put lives at risk.
His father, who was not named, told WFLA: "He can't expect to communicate something he doesn't know".
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