TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis reiterated his warnings to Florida residents after expanding the state of emergency declaration to include 13 more Florida counties ahead of Hurricane Idalia.
Idalia is forecast to become a major hurricane before it hits Florida’s Gulf coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.
“Pretty much anybody on the west coast of Florida, you could see major, major impacts,” DeSantis said.
The governor said many residents in evacuation A and B zones, and on the barrier islands will have to evacuate ahead of the storm.
“You do not need to leave the state of Florida. You just need to find higher ground,” DeSantis said. “The key is to not be in those areas with big time storm surge.”
The governor said “tens of thousands” of linemen were placed on standby to fix any anticipated power outages. Officials warned residents who live along the Gulf Coast and require electricity for their health to temporarily relocate to a place that will have power.
On Saturday, DeSantis declared a state of emergency.
“I signed an Executive Order issuing a state of emergency out of an abundance of caution to ensure that the Florida Division of Emergency Management can begin staging resources and Floridians have plenty of time to prepare their families for a storm next week,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a news conference Saturday. “I encourage Floridians to have a plan in place and ensure that their hurricane supply kit is stocked.”
The state of emergency applies to 46 of Florida’s counties, including:
- St. Johns
If you need guidance on how to prepare for a hurricane or tropical storm, visit floridadisaster.org/planprepare.