Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declares a state of emergency as Tropical Storm Ian approaches

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (right) declared a state of emergency for all of Florida on Saturday as Tropical Storm Ian approaches the state.

Driving the news: Ian, which formed Friday over the southern Caribbean, is expected to intensify through Monday, possibly into an upper range Category 4 storm.

  • The storm is expected to hit Florida midweek. DeSantis previously declared a state of emergency for 24 counties in the state.
  • President Biden too declared an emergency for the state.

The big picture: “Due to the aforementioned conditions, which are expected to constitute a major disaster, I am declaring a state of emergency in the State of Florida,” DeSantis said. in an executive order Saturday.

  • “I encourage all Floridians to continue to watch the storm and listen to local officials,” DeSantis said. tweeted Saturday afternoon.
  • Ian is expected to bring heavy rains that will bring flash flooding and urban flooding, storm surges and high winds, the National Hurricane Center said. in an update Sunday morning.
  • The Florida Keys as well as parts of south and central Florida could receive 2 to 4 inches of rain, with local highs of up to 6 inches, from Monday through Wednesday, according to the NHC. North Florida and the panhandle, as well as the southeastern United States, can expect heavy rain the rest of the week.
  • Florida Keys officials waited Saturday to make a decision on evacuations ahead of the storm, the Miami Herald reported. The Monroe County School District said no decision has yet been made on school closures.

What they say : Tropical Storm Ian will likely become a “major hurricane” and Floridians need to be prepared, DeSantis warned during a press conference Sunday afternoon.

  • “It’s important to let people know that the path forward is still uncertain. The impacts will be significant across the state of Florida,” DeSantis added.
  • “Expect heavy rain, high winds, flash flooding, storm surges and even isolated tornadoes. Prepare now,” he said.
  • DeSantis added that residents should anticipate power outages, fuel disruptions and evacuations in certain areas.

State of play: Some Floridians lined up to buy crates of water, generators and plywood to cover their windows, PA reported.

  • Power teams are prepare for the restoration of power following the storm.
  • The Florida National Guard has been activated to help respond to Ian, with 2,500 guards activated and with the ability to activate more if needed, DeSantis said Sunday.
  • Tampa Mayor Jane Castor said Fox 13 Tampa Bay earlier this week, the city was working to prepare for possible flooding by preemptively draining ponds and releasing water from the nearby dam.
  • “[We are] cut trees and shrubs that could harm our lines, but also work with members of our community,” Duke Energy spokesperson Ana Gibbs told Fox 13 Tampa Bay about the preparations in the city.
  • Duke Energy Florida noted in a report Sunday that crews are “checking equipment, supplies and inventories to ensure the proper materials are available to make repairs and restore power outages.”

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with additional details.

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