Joe Biden approves Florida emergency declaration as Tropical Storm Idalia strengthens
Image via National Hurricane Center

Idalia track
FEMA is now authorized to identify, mobilize and provide equipment and resources necessary to mitigate the emergency.

President Joe Biden has authorized a state of emergency for several Florida counties as Tropical Storm Idalia threatens much of the Florida Gulf Coast and Big Bend area.

The state of emergency orders federal assistance to supplement state, tribal and local response efforts related to the storm. The state of emergency is backdated to Aug. 27, when Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an emergency declaration.

Biden’s approval authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief efforts in multiple counties to alleviate hardship and suffering because of the emergency.

The emergency declaration applies to Alachua, Bay, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor and Wakulla counties.

FEMA is now authorized to identify, mobilize and provide equipment and resources necessary to mitigate the emergency.

FEMA appointed Brett. H. Howard to coordinate recovery operations in affected counties.

As of 8 a.m. Monday morning, Tropical Storm Idalia had begun traveling slowly north from waters between Yucatán and Cuba. It is expected to rapidly intensify in the warm Gulf of Mexico waters before landfall somewhere along Florida’s Gulf Coast early Wednesday morning.

A hurricane watch already has been issued along much of the Gulf Coast.

“The risk continues to increase for life-threatening storm surge and dangerous hurricane-force winds along portions of the west coast of Florida and the Florida Panhandle beginning as early as late Tuesday,” a 4 a.m. warning update from the National Hurricane Center.

The latest update notes that residents within hurricane watches “should monitor updates to the forecast and follow any advice given by local officials.”

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.

One comment

  • Michael K

    August 28, 2023 at 11:09 am

    Thank you, President Biden.

    Nice to have a president who does not traffic in petty grievances and grudges and who does the right thing.

Comments are closed.


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