Tropical Depression Nine is tracking through the Caribbean and according to the latest forecast models, it could become a serious hurricane threat for Florida as early as next week.
As the state prepares for the potential storm, which formed Friday morning, Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for 24 counties, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Monroe and Palm Beach. He also requested a “federal pre-landfall Emergency Declaration,” which will make more resources available for storm preparation and will also activate members of the Florida National Guard to be on standby awaiting orders.
“This storm has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to make their preparations,” he said in a statement. “We are coordinating with all state and local government partners to track potential impacts of this storm.”
Floridians are being advised to prepare as the Florida Division of Emergency Management said Friday that they are closely monitoring the system.
“It is critical that Floridians remain vigilant and prepared – it only takes one storm to cause costly or irreversible damage to your home or business,” said FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie.
Both Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and Miami Mayor Francis Suarez spoke out about preparedness on Friday.
At a press conference held in the morning, County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said, “We’ve been here before, and no cause for panic. But we want everyone prepared.”
“As Miamians, we know that being prepared is essential, so now is the time for our residents to review their hurricane plans and as we enter the weekend, we want you to make sure you go through your hurricane supplies,” City Mayor Francis Suarez said at his afternoon briefing.
This is the first time that parts of the Caribbean have been issued tropical storm or hurricane watches. While it is still too early to know exactly where this system in heading, it is forecast to approach the peninsula at or near a Category 3 hurricane strength which could bring tropical storm-force winds and heavy rains.
You should review your hurricane plans and keep an eye out for updates. For more information on how to stay safe make sure to click here. Stay safe, Florida!