TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Hillsborough County officials are preparing for Hurricane Idalia, which may impact the area as a major hurricane.

Emergency officials are expected to speak at a news conference on Monday afternoon. You can watch the news conference in the live player above at 2 p.m.

A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for Zone A, including all mobile homes and residents in low-lying areas prone to flooding. Officials urged residents to heed evacuation orders and to ride out the storm in emergency shelters if they have nowhere else to go.

Hillsborough County schools will be closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

In a news conference Monday mornimg, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, Fire Chief Barbara Tripp, Emergency Coordinator John Antapasis and Police Chief Lee Bercaw discussed the city’s emergency preparations.

Mayor Castor said crews worked through the weekend to clear debris from storm drains ahead of Idalia. The storm is expected to reach the area Tuesday night.

Storm surge levels could exceed 7 feet in the Tampa Bay area, according to Chief Tripp. Parts of Tampa could see 6-10 inches of rain, with higher amounts in isolated spots.

Tripp warned residents that once sustained winds exceed 40 mph, emergency crews will shelter in place and may not be able to reach them.

“The City of Tampa urges all residents to stay informed and take necessary precautions ahead of Tropical Storm Idalia,” a news release stated. “The safety of our community is our top priority, and we are taking every step to ensure preparedness and response are optimal.”

Residents are urged to sign up for AlertTampa to receive emergency notifications directly from the City of Tampa. To register, visit the AlertTampa website or text “TampaReady” to 888-777.

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