Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declares state of emergency as hurricane is expected to make landfall in Florida

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis campaigns for Republican Senate candidate J.D. Vance during an event organized by Action Turning Point in Youngstown, Ohio, U.S., August 19, 2022.

Gaelen Morse | Reuters

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for 24 counties as Tropical Storm Ian gathers strength over the Caribbean and is expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds to the state next week.

DeSantis issued an order on Friday encouraging residents and local governments to prepare storm move towards the state. He also asked the federal government to declare a state of emergency before landing.

“This storm has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to prepare,” DeSantis said in a statement. “We are working with all of our state and local government partners to monitor the potential impacts of this storm.”

The National Hurricane Center said Ian is forecast to strengthen rapidly in the coming days before moving over western Cuba and approaching Florida next week with hurricane strength.

John Cangialosi, senior hurricane expert with the National Hurricane Center in Miami, said it’s still unclear where Ian will be hardest hit in Florida and said residents should start preparing for the storm, including including gathering supplies for possible power outages.

“It’s too early to say if it’s going to be an issue in southeastern Florida or a problem in central Florida or just the entire state,” he said. “So at this point, the really relevant message for people living in Florida is that you have to watch the forecast and get ready and prepared for the potential impact from this tropical system.”

The governor’s proclamation applies to Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and St. Lucie.

Meanwhile, rain and strong winds are hitting the Canadian Atlantic region like a after tropical cyclone made landfall, with forecasters warning it could be one of the most severe storms in the county’s history. Fiona made landfall in Nova Scotia before dawn on Saturday.

More than 500,000 customers in Atlantic Canada have been affected by the power outage. Waves hit the town of Port Aux Basques on Newfoundland’s south coast, where entire structures were washed out into the sea.

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