DeSantis activates state Emergency Operations Center as Idalia approaches

Published: Updated:

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis addressed the public and the media Sunday about the impending storm – Idalia – approaching Florida.

“Landfall is currently expected along the Big Bend region on Wednesday,” stated DeSantis. He also warned, “It could arrive at the state of Florida as strong as a Category 2 hurricane.”

The State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahasse will move to a level one, 24-hour activation starting at 7 a.m., Monday morning.

Staging and Mobilization

  • 1100 National Guardsmen
  • 2400 High Water vehicles
  • 12 aircraft that can be used for rescue and recovery efforts.

As we saw following Hurricanes Irma and Ian, power can be major issues. DeSantis added, “The power companies are going to start pre-staging linemen, starting on Monday.”

Kevin Guthrie, Executive Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, explained, “We will have storm surge warnings and watches in the coming days. Storm surge was the number one cause of death in Hurricane Ian. You can evacuate by going tens of miles away, not hundreds.”

Guthrie expects Idalia will strengthen throughout the day as it moves northward into the Gulf, and urges people that life-threatening storm surge can begin at two feet. Some areas are expected to go as high as seven feet of storm surge.

Again, the storm is not supposed to be a direct hit for Southwest Florida. But, don’t let your guard down.

“There’s a lot that can happen. This thing hasn’t even gotten to Cuba yet,” said DeSantis. “And the water in the Gulf is very, very warm, and so, that’ll provide some fuel for this thing to pick up some more speed.”

“I do think that these models are a little bit more in agreement than when we did Hurricane Ian,” the Governor reflected. “But I do remember being here on a Sunday afternoon for a Wednesday impact and seeing the impact be up in North Florida, that Big Bend area and ended up hitting Sanibel Island and those areas down in southwest Florida.”

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