Florida Declares State of Emergency in Multiple Counties as Tropical Depression Looms

by Lauren Boisvert

Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 24 counties in Florida. These counties are in the potential path of Tropical Depression Nine as it nears Florida next week. DeSantis made the pre-landfall Emergency Declaration in preparation for the storm. The declaration makes resources and support available for the affected counties. Additionally, the Florida National Guard is on standby.

“Today, I signed an Executive Order issuing a State of Emergency due to the threat of Tropical Depression 9,” said DeSantis. “This storm has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to make their preparations. We are coordinating with all state and local government partners to track potential impacts of this storm.”

Tropical Storm Nine has the potential to grow into a hurricane within the next week. The counties under the state of emergency are as follows: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monrow, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, and St. Lucie.

Tropical Depression Nine Has Potential to Make Landfall On Tuesday

Forecasters are predicting that Tropical Depression Nine could strengthen into a category three storm or higher. It also has the potential to head into the Gulf of Mexico and make landfall in South Florida on Tuesday, Sept. 27.

The storm will be named if its sustained winds reach 39 mph. When it reaches the Caribbean, warmer waters and lower wind shear could cause the storm to strengthen. Most likely, it will make landfall in Cuba first, which will most likely cause it to lose steam. Though, there is the possibility that it will strengthen again as it moves on to South Florida.

As of Sept. 23, Tropical Depression Ten has formed in the eastern Atlantic, 305 miles northeast of the Cabo Verde Islands, according to AccuWeather. Apparently, it will become a “short-lived tropical storm.”

So far this season, the US has not had a hurricane hit the mainland, but that could change if Tropical Depression Nine strengthens. Hurricane Fiona made landfall in Puerto Rico with intense winds and rain and is now a category four headed toward Canada at 35 mph. Fiona’s winds are sustained at 130 mph but will weaken once she reaches Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Additionally, Canada hasn’t seen a storm this strong in 50 years.

Hurricane Fiona Rips Through Puerto Rico, Leaves Residents Without Power

President Joe Biden declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico over the weekend of Sept. 17. When Fiona hit, almost the entire island was left without power. Rescue crews performed over 1,000 water rescues. The National Hurricane Center and Central Pacific Hurricane Center released a statement on Hurricane Fiona as it impacted Puerto Rico.

“Hurricane Fiona was now located near the northern coast of the Dominican Republic,” the statement reads. “However, Fiona’s rain bands will continue to impact Puerto Rico as it lifts northwards. Periods of torrential rains are therefore expected to continue affecting the territory, creating catastrophic and life-threatening flash flood conditions, overflowing rivers and small streams, and debris flow. Additional heavy rains today will only aggravate the already flooded areas and will trigger mudslides and rockfalls due to the unstable soil. Trailing moisture is expected to continue to affect the region, especially Puerto Rico at least through Tuesday or into Wednesday.”