TALLAHASSEE, Fla.- With Bay Area counties already feeling the start of Tropical Depression Nine’s wrath, Governor Rick Scott has issued Executive Order 16-205 declaring a state of emergency for 42 counties within the state of Florida.
These are the following counties under state of emergency, per First Coast News:
Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Brevard, Calhoun, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, lake, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Orange, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Seminole, St.Johns, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Volusia and Wakulla.
In his announcement Governor Scott also said, ““Last night, hurricane and tropical storm watches were issued along Florida’s Gulf Coast from Pasco County to Gulf County. We also learned that the National Hurricane Center expects Tropical Depression Nine to become a Tropical Storm sometime today.”
“It is crucial that every Floridian has a plan in place to ensure their families, homes and businesses are fully prepared. Floridians can make their own plan at FLGetaPlan.com,” he said. “I have been closely monitoring this storm’s development and our emergency management officials have been working hard to make sure we are ready to respond to any potential impacts. By declaring a state of emergency in advance of this storm, we are ensuring that state, regional and local agencies can work together to meet the needs of our communities. We will continue to do all we can to keep our families and visitors safe and informed as this storm approaches our state.”
Last night the National Weather Service issued a Hurricane Watch for areas of Florida’s Gulf Coast. Since 7:00 a.m. this morning the system has slowed down, delaying landfall to the Big Bend Area of Florida. TD9 also moved a bit farther west so it’s forecast track has moved a bit farther north.
Anywhere from 1-8 inches of rain and wind bands are still expected over the next several days for affected areas. With the wind, tornadic activity may also be of concern. The weather situation is now expected to remain thru Friday.
Another update from the National Hurricane Center is expected at 11 a.m.
So far school boards are monitoring the system closely and counties are expected to make announcements Wednesday evening on whether or not schools will be open on Thursday and Friday. Announcements will be made on each county’s official website, Facebook page and Twitter.
As of now Hillsborough, Pinellas, Hernando and Manatee County schools will be closed September 1.
Check back for more updates throughout the day.
Quotes of Governor Rick Scott used were from First Coast News.