Rick Scott closes state offices in 35 counties as Hurricane Michael draws near
Gov. Rick Scott tours the Caloosahatchee River to see toxic blooms firsthand. (Image via WGCU)


Gov. Rick Scott has ordered state offices closed in the 35 counties covered by his emergency declaration for Hurricane Michael.

The office closure was to run from Tuesday through Thursday.

Scott announced the move Monday, via his Twitter feed.

Also on Monday, Scott asked President Donald Trump to declare a federal pre-landfall state of emergency. That would bring federal resources to the state’s assistance, including money, Scott said.

Earlier, Scott had placed 26 counties under emergency orders. On Monday, he added Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Union counties.

“Florida is recovering from the impacts of hurricanes Irma, Matthew, and Hermine,” Scott wrote in his request to Trump.

“Additionally, Florida provided significant assistance to Hurricane Maria survivors under a host state agreement with FEMA. Together, these incidents strained the resources of the state and local governments.”

The request seeks direct federal assistance “in the form of personnel, equipment, and supplies,” plus financial aide through FEMA’s public assistance program.

Any shift in the forecast track to the East could trigger the evacuation of millions of people along the West Coast of Florida,” the document says.

Staff Reports


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