DeSantis issued the original order on Saturday, which declared a state of emergency for 15 counties on the west and south coasts of the state due to the incoming tropical storm. The storm is expected to hit Central Florida on Wednesday., potentially as a Category 1 hurricane.
The most recent order added Baker, Bradford, Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and Union counties to the state of emergency. The order also removes the state of emergency from Franklin County.
“Tropical Storm Elsa is forecasted to be a hurricane tonight before making landfall along Florida’s West Coast,” the order reads, adding that “there is an increasing wind and flood threat to counties in Northeast Florida.”
Floridians in coastal counties from Pinellas to Dixie are under a hurricane warning and should begin their preparations now as #Elsa approaches.
➡️Turn weather alerts on
➡️Make sure you have 7 days of food and water
➡️Follow local evacuation orders if they are issued
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) July 6, 2021
“The Florida Division of Emergency Management, working together with the National Hurricane Center to evaluate weather predictions, has determined there is a continuing risk of dangerous storm surge, heavy rainfall, flash flooding, strong winds, hazardous seas, and isolated tornadic activity for western portions of Florida’s peninsula and portions of the Florida Big Bend, North Florida, and Northeast Florida,” the order reads.
The impact of the storm could result in downed trees and loss of power. The state has 6,000 utility workers on standby and DeSantis has activated about 250 members of the National Guard, most of whom have been deployed to Orlando, the Governor outlined in a briefing Tuesday morning.
He also said the state has moved to Readiness Level 1 in anticipation of Elsa’s landfall. But he stressed the storm at the time remained a tropical storm, and said the heightened readiness has much to do with fiscally restrained counties being in areas under tropical storm watch and warning.
Widespread evacuations aren’t likely, but local evacuations are possible.
Start preparing now to be without power for a few days, DeSantis warned Floridians Tuesday. Have enough food and water for the whole family, including pets, he added.