TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an Executive order Monday declaring a State of Emergency for 34 counties, including some in the Bay area, that are in the potential path of now Hurricane Nicole.
According to the governor’s office, DeSantis issued the Executive Order out of an abundance of caution leaving time for communities, families, and businesses to create a plan and gather the necessary resources in the event Nicole gains Hurricane strength.
As of its 11 a.m. update Monday, the National Hurricane Center said Nicole was located about 495 miles east of the northwestern Bahamas and was moving northwest at 9 mph.
NHC added Nicole could reach near or at hurricane intensity by Wednesday or Wednesday night while it moves near the northwestern Bahamas.
“While this storm does not, at this time, appear that it will become much stronger,” DeSantis said, “I urge all Floridians to be prepared and to listen to announcements from local emergency management officials. We will continue to monitor the trajectory and strength of this storm as it moves towards Florida.”
The governor’s office and the Florida Department of Emergency Management said they are in “constant contact” with local government officials from all 67 counties, the NHC, and the National Weather Service.
“Regardless of intensity or exact path of Nicole, Floridians are reminded to prepare for an increased risk of coastal flooding, heavy winds, rain, rip currents, and beach erosion. Wind gusts can be expected as soon as Tuesday along Florida’s East Coast,” the governor’s office added.
The following counties are currently under a State of Emergency:
- Indian River
- Palm Beach
- St. Johns
- St. Lucie