Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) has declared an official “state of emergency.” More than half the state is being hit hard by Tropical Storm Colin, and it’s moving toward the “Big Bend” area of the Sunshine State.
Evacuation notices have begun! This is dangerous:
Franklin County, which historically floods, has issued a voluntary evacuation notice for anyone in low-lying areas or anyone in RVs in the county.
Further south, KC-135s from the 6th Air Mobility Wing at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa were evacuated to Pease Air National Guard Base in New Hampshire.
Citrus County has canceled all school-related activities for Monday, WFLA reports, and all Pasco County schools will dismiss students early. Pasco County officials said in a briefing Monday morning that it’s critical everyone get home and off roads by 3 p.m.
Further south, officials distributed sandbags along the coast over the weekend. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn told The Weather Channel on Monday morning that 13,000 sandbags had been distributed to Tampa residents.
The Skyway Bridge was closed to all vehicles Monday as winds gusted up to 52 mph., according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
The city of St. Pete Beach released a statement asking residents to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary as they expect heavy rains and flooding, especially during Monday’s afternoon high tide.[…]
Gov. Rick Scott said the state’s Emergency Operations Center was elevated to activation status level 2, “The level two activation at the State Emergency Operations Center will help state and local emergency management officials work together to ensure our state is ready to respond to any impacts of this weather event.”
According to The Weather Channel, emergency responders are standing by with shelters and high-water vehicles in the Tampa area. Now, their efforts are being expanded to the rest of the state.
This is a breaking news story. We will most more details when they become available.