Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) declared a state of emergency for all 67 Florida counties over the weekend as the Sunshine State prepares for Hurricane Ian’s landfall this week, warning that the impacts “will be broad throughout the state of Florida.”
During a press conference Sunday at the State of Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, the governor warned Floridians to prepare for the storm and expect storm surges, flash flooding, and the possibility of tornadoes. And while the exact path largely remains uncertain, DeSantis urged Floridians to prepare, as there will be “broad impacts” across the state.
DeSantis explained that the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) estimate is comprised of a variety of different models. During the time of the press conference on Sunday, estimated landfalls ranged from the Tampa Bay region to the Panhandle.
“It’s too soon to say that there’s not going to be a wobble or there’s not going to be any type of curvature back into the Florida peninsula. … What the National Hurricane Center does is basically try to come in the middle of what the models are out there,” the governor said, adding, “So expect heavy rains, strong winds, flash flooding, storm surge, and even isolated tornadoes.” He urged Floridians to make preparations now, gathering food, water, batteries, medicine, and fuel, as power outages are anticipated.
“Anticipate fuel disruptions. That’s something that could happen with a hurricane of this magnitude, and also anticipate that in certain areas of the state if you are in a very vulnerable area, there may even be evacuations that are issued. So listen to your local officials,” he said, explaining why his administration declared a state of emergency for all counties:
We have declared a state of emergency for all 67 counties, given the uncertainty of the path of the storm. We’ve done things like waive weight restrictions for commercial trucks; we want to ensure that adequate resources are able to be brought into the state of Florida. We’ve also authorized emergency refills of prescriptions for 30 days, and so if that’s something that you need to do, you have the ability to do that. Florida Department of Emergency Management is working with all of the fuel and the utility partners throughout the state of Florida. Once the storm hits, there’s going to be a need and a strong effort to get the power back on for as many people as quickly as possible. And they are working with those partners. We have activated the Florida National Guard. They are activating 2,500 guardsmen at the moment, and if there is a need for more, then we could do more.
DeSantis continued to stress that all Floridians must prepare for the storm, as the impacts will be broad outside of the state due to the massive size of the storm.
“There’s going to be pretty broad impacts throughout the state. … There could be flooding on the east coast of Florida as a result of this. It’s a big storm. So to prepare for that, and understand that that’s something that may happen,” he added:
Ian is expected to strengthen to a major hurricane Monday. The 11:00 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has Ian with maximum sustained winds of 80 mph and making landfall later this week, slowing as it approaches Florida:
Hurricane #Ian Advisory 14: Ian Forecast to Continue Rapidly Strengthening. Conditions in Western Cuba to Deteriorate This Evening And Tonight With Significant Wind and Storm Surge Impacts Expected. https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 26, 2022