Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency for 33 counties—including several in North Central Florida—in preparation for Invest 93L, a system that is expected to strengthen to a tropical storm early next week.
“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.”
The emergency order includes Alachua, Levy, Dixie, Gilchrist, Suwannee and Columbia counties.
Invest 93L formed Friday off the east coast of southern Mexico. Forecasters currently expect it to become a tropical storm and possibly a hurricane making landfall along Florida’s Gulf Coast by Wednesday of next week—bringing with it the potential for heavy rainfall and strong winds.
Saturday afternoon the National Hurricane Center upgraded the system to Tropical Depression 10 and gave it a 90% chance of developing into a cyclone in the next 48 hours.
In a Saturday text message to local reporters, Alachua County spokesman Mark Sexton said the county is monitoring the storm and encouraged residents to get ready: “Take advantage of the weekend to make sensible preparedness plans and don’t forget to sign up to receive emergency alerts from Alachua County by texting the word ALACHUA to 888-777.”