TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Governor Ron DeSantis issued an amended Executive Order Wednesday expanding the State of Emergency to 11 additional counties including two in the Tampa Bay area.
The order expands the State of Emergency to Pinellas, Hernando, Alachua, Bradford, Dixie, Gilchrist, Jefferson, Levy, Marion, Taylor, and Wakulla Counties.
The 11 new additions join the 34 counties already under a State of Emergency.
As of 1 p.m., Tropical Storm Nicole had strengthened into a tropical storm with maximum sustained winds at or near 70 mph and is forecasted to be a hurricane before making landfall along Florida’s east coast sometime Wednesday evening or Thursday morning.
“The threat posed by Tropical Storm Nicole requires that timely precautions are taken to protect the communities, infrastructure, and the general welfare of Florida, the governor’s office said in a news release.
According to a previous release from 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.
For the latest information on Tropical Storm Nicole, click here.