CITRUS COUNTY, Fla – Local government officials, including the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Emergency Management Division met today to discuss potential emergency actions in relation to Tropical Storm Idalia.
It was decided that Citrus County is declaring a Local State of Emergency effective immediately and urges all citizens and businesses of Citrus County to make preparations – residents living in campers, recreational vehicles, tents, other structures unable to withstand the winds of a tropical storm, or along the west side of U.S. Highway 19 are advised to voluntarily evacuate.
“Although there are many uncertainties surrounding the impact of Tropical Storm Idalia, we are not taking any chances when it comes to your safety. As this storm begins to strengthen in the Gulf, we will feel certain impacts,” said Sheriff Prendergast. “I strongly encourage everyone to get prepared: Make sure you have a plan in place before the storm reaches Florida, gather your important documents, and pack your go-bags. Even tropical storms can affect our county first responder’s ability to respond out in an emergency. Once those winds reach upwards of 45 miles per hour emergency vehicles cannot respond out to your location.”
In the news: Florida Gov. DeSantis: Be ‘Vigilant’ As Idalia Threatens
The National Weather Service believes that the West Coast of Florida could experience the storm’s impact sometime Tuesday into Wednesday. Based on best available information, the National Hurricane Center predicts that counties along the coast may receive catastrophic storm surge from 6-9 feet above ground level.
Remember, with any storm, you should NOT focus on the cone, rather focus on the impacts. The track could always move toward Citrus County and even if it does not, storm impacts can be far reaching. For those in coastal surge areas, be prepared to move sooner than later – DO NOT WAIT. When water starts coming in, it can move quickly and trap you.
“We will open up the Citizen Information Lines tomorrow, please continue to monitor our social media for updates throughout the duration of Tropical Storm Idalia,” said Citrus County in a media release.
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