Gov. Ron DeSantis issued a state of emergency for 24 counties, including those in Tampa Bay, as a Tropical Depression that’s forecasted to become a hurricane nears Florida.
Tropical Depression Nine is currently forecasted to hit Florida at or near major hurricane strength next week, though it’s still too early to tell where the storm will make impact. Even a minor hurricane, or tropical storm, has the potential to cause damage in Tampa Bay with flooding.
“This storm has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to make their preparations,” DeSantis said in a statement. “We are coordinating with all state and local government partners to track potential impacts of this storm.”
Issuing a state of emergency opens the doors for resources and support to be made available to affected counties, and the Florida National Guard will be put on standby.
The emergency order also allows for a suspension of any statute or rule that would delay or hinder the ability to respond to the emergency.
Most of Florida’s peninsula is currently in the forecasted cone for the tropical depression.
The following counties are under the emergency declaration, which can be read in full here:
- Indian River
- Palm Beach
- St. Lucie