State of emergency declared in Florida due to Hurricane Isaias

State of emergency declared in Florida due to Hurricane Isaias
DeSantis says eye of hurricane is closer to Florida's east coast, so residents should prepare (Source: WPTV)

Calling it a "fluid situation," Gov. Ron DeSantis is urging Floridians on Friday to closely monitor the path of Hurricane Isaias, which could bring heavy rain and gusty winds to the east coast of the state this weekend.

"While current projections have the eye of Isaias remaining at sea, the situation remains fluid and can change quickly," DeSantis said during a news conference at the Florida Division of Emergency Management in Tallahassee.

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Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast are under a Hurricane Watch due to the potential threat of Isaias over the weekend.

The Hurricane Watch extends from north of Deerfield Beach to the Volusia-Brevard County line in Central Florida. In addition, a Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for north of Ocean Reef to Sebastian Inlet, as well as Lake Okeechobee.

As the storm approaches, DeSantis is urging Floridians to get their hurricane kit ready with seven days worth of food, water, and medicine, as well as an evacuation plan in the event that evacuations are ordered.

"Just keep a lookout for what's going on, make sure you have your plan in place," DeSantis said. "The most recent forecast, it brings that eye closer to the coast. So we just gotta be vigilant and keep an eye out for what's going on."

The governor has declared a state of emergency for every county on Florida's east coast from Miami-Dade to Nassau County.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Florida Division of Emergency Management has a reserve of personal protective equipment available, including 20 million masks, 22 million gloves, 10 million gowns, and 1.6 million face shields.

In addition, the state has purchased 50 generators to handle power outages throughout Florida.

"100% of our nursing homes and 100% of our assisted living facilities in the state of Florida have working generators on site," DeSantis.

The state also has 9.4 million bottles of water and 2.6 million meals ready to be deployed.

While the governor doesn't anticipate that emergency shelters will be needed for Hurricane Isaias, he said the state will be ready just in case.

"The division created new and detailed shelter guidance for all counties in light of COVID-19 and has prepared shelter kits with hand sanitizer, masks, and gloves ready to be deployed upon request," DeSantis said.

The governor said he spoke with Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner on Friday, and said the county doesn't anticipate widescale evacuations at this point.

"There may be some areas, mobile homes where those orders will be issued," DeSantis said.

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