Deaf citizens of Manatee County tuned into the urgent Irma press conference last Friday only to find the amateur interpreter signing gibberish.
The county claimed it was "in a pinch" and was forced to use a lifeguard to convey information about the emergency evacuation order to the deaf community, according to Daily Mail.
The interpreter, Marshall Greene, grew up with a deaf brother and claimed he had an understanding of sign language, according to WFLA.
He signed at one point the incoherent sentence: "Help you at that time to use bear big."
Another time: "Pizza want you are. Need be bear monster."
But Greene was clearly more rusty than he realised and signed words such as pizza, bear and monster during the conference.
He also broke a few of the basic rules of ASL signing.
Viewers knew immediately he wasn't a professional since he was wearing a bright yellow t-shirt.
Trained ASL interpreters always wear blue, black or a color where their hands will stand out.
Greene also kept turning to look at the speaker, which is another telltale sign of an unqualified interpreter.
Charlene McCarthy, the founder of VisCom sign language interpretation service agency, said she wished the county would have called her.
She told the station: "It was horribly unnerving for me."
"To watch that, knowing I could provide a qualified, certified interpreter."
Marlee Matlin, a deaf actress, tweeted: "This is outrageous."
She followed up: "To Deaf residents of Manatee County. Here's info on evacuation that you need to follow."
"Comments like 'give the guy a break, he's trying' or 'what other choice do they have?' Um, how about CAPTIONS? It's life and death after all"
Model Nyle DiMarco, who is also deaf, tweeted: "We cant afford mistakes that can cost 200,000 deaf lives in Florida FYI @MCGPublicSafety the 'interpreter' is not able to convey vital info."
The deaf community in Manatee County has asked for an apology.