State of emergency declared for most of Florida’s Gulf Coast as tropical system approaches

As a tropical system continues to march toward Florida, with a high chance of becoming a depression or something stronger in the coming days, a state of emergency was declared Saturday for most counties on the Gulf Coast.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order that declared the state of emergency for 33 counties, including Manatee, Hillsborough (where Tampa is) and Leon (where Tallahassee is). The order allows for emergency resources and preparation to move quicker and more freely.

“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,” DeSantis said in a statement. “I encourage Floridians to have a plan in place and ensure that their hurricane supply kit is stocked.”

Heavy rainfall, strong winds and isolated tornado activity is what the governor’s office said it expects Florida’s west coast to see.

The National Hurricane Center said if the system, which is near the Yucatan Channel, continues to better organize, weather advisories will be issued later Saturday.

READ MORE HERE: Tropical system likely to form off Florida Gulf coast. Franklin now a hurricane

Here’s what counties are under the order:

  • Alachua

  • Bay

  • Calhoun

  • Charlotte

  • Citrus

  • Columbia

  • DeSoto

  • Dixie

  • Franklin

  • Gadsden

  • Gilchrist

  • Gulf

  • Hamilton

  • Hardee

  • Hernando

  • Hillsborough

  • Jefferson

  • Lafayette

  • Lee

  • Leon

  • Levy

  • Liberty

  • Madison

  • Manatee

  • Marion

  • Pasco

  • Pinellas

  • Polk

  • Sarasota

  • Sumter

  • Suwannee

  • Taylor

  • Wakulla