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DeSantis declares emergency in Florida before the passage of storm Ian

Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency in Florida on Saturday as Tropical Storm Ian gains strength in the Caribbean and is expected to bring downpours and hurricane-speed winds to the peninsula next week.

DeSantis initially issued an emergency order for two dozen counties on Friday, but expanded it to the entire state, encouraging people and local authorities to prepare for a storm that could hit large sections of Florida.

“This storm has the potential to strengthen into a powerful hurricane and we are calling on all Floridians to make preparations,” DeSantis said in a statement. “We are coordinating with all state and municipal government partners to track the potential impacts of this storm.”

The National Hurricane Center reported that Ian is forecast to gain strength rapidly in the coming days before passing through western Cuba and reaching Florida in the middle of next week as a hurricane.

John Cangialosi, a hurricane specialist at the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said it’s currently unclear where Ian will hit Florida hardest, adding that residents should start preparing for the storm, including stocking up for potential power outages.

“It’s too early to tell if it’s going to be a problem in southeast Florida or a problem in central Florida or statewide,” he said. “So at this time, the proper message for those living in Florida is to be aware of the weather forecasts and prepare for the potential impact of this tropical system.”

The governor’s declaration frees up funds for emergencies and activates members of the Florida National Guard, according to his office. His order underscores that there is a risk of storm surge, flooding, dangerous winds and other conditions in different parts of the state.

 

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