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Parts of Florida Gulf Coast Under State of Emergency

Over the weekend, Governor Ron DeSantis added an additional 13 counties to his State of Emergency executive order, bringing the total number of counties on hurricane watch from 33 to 46. Tropical Storm Idalia has the potential to reach Category 3 hurricane status as it travels across the western coast of Florida up toward the Florida Panhandle. 

School closures began earlier today from southwest Florida to Sarasota as Tropical Storm Idalia approaches the Gulf Coast, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. The storm path, which started off the coast of Cuba, will develop into a hurricane tonight around 8 PM local time, making landfall on the Florida Panhandle on Wednesday by 8 AM. The storm will continue to travel northeast as the tropical storm will hit the beaches of Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia.

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Hurricane Idalia is not the only hurricane coming to Florida this week. CBS News reports that Hurricane Franklin could cause “life-threatening surf and rip currents” along the eastern coast of the United States. 

As Floridians begin to prep for the hurricane weather, news has broken regarding a “widespread fuel contamination” that could lead to cars stalling or becoming disabled on the side of the road during the storm. This could lead to problems if citizens are told to evacuate from their residences, says NPR. The fuel contamination is said to have been caused by human error.

In Governor DeSantis’s executive order, he encouraged Florida residents “to have a plan in place and ensure that their hurricane supply kit is stocked.” 

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