Governor DeSantis declares State of Emergency for Brevard, 23 other countries

Tropical Depression Nine formed in the Caribbean on Friday with a path that could bring it to Florida next week as a major Category 3 hurricane prompting Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency in 24 counties.

“This storm has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to make their preparations,” he said. “We are coordinating with all state and local government partners to track potential impacts of this storm.”

DeSantis also requested a federal emergency declaration ahead of landfall that would free up funding sources for emergency protective measures. The counties in the order are Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and St. Lucie.

Not in the order are Orange, Lake, Seminole or Volusia.

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The system could become Hurricane Ian, as the name Hermine was taken by a new tropical storm that formed Friday evening off the coast of Africa.

In its 5 p.m. update, the National Hurricane Center said TD9 was located about 430 miles east-southeast of Kingston, Jamaica and 930 miles southeast of Havana, Cuba with 35 mph sustained winds moving west-northwest at 15 mph.

A hurricane watch was issued for the Cayman Islands and tropical storm watch for Jamaica.

An Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircraft is on its way to investigate the depression, but the next full advisory won’t be until 11 p.m., the NHC said.

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