Monday morning, Gov. Rick Scott met with members of the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) for an update on the possible impact of Tropical Storm Emily.
Scott and state officials are actively watching the storm, which is off the western coast of Florida. The governor is urging all Floridians to remain vigilant.
While receiving regular weather updates from the National Hurricane Center (NHC), as of 6 a.m. Monday, the NHC advised that the storm, originally identified as Tropical Depression Six, had formed 65 miles South — Southwest of Tampa.
Two hours later, Doppler radar suggested an upgrade to Tropical Storm “Emily,” making it the fifth named storm of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.
A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect from Anclote River in Pasco County southward to Englewood in Sarasota and Charlotte counties; Emily is expected to produce total rain between 2 to 4 inches through Monday night along the west coast of Central Florida between the Tampa Bay area and Naples.
Earlier, the depression was forecast to move quickly across the Florida Peninsula Monday, going offshore of the east-central Florida coast around midnight.
During the next 48 hours, there is no major change expected. A flood watch has been issued for Hardee, DeSoto, Highlands, Lee, Charlotte, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota and Pinellas counties.
“As we know in Florida, storms can quickly develop, bringing severe weather to our state in a moment’s notice,” Scott said in a statement. “Last night, this storm posed no threat to Florida. Now, after rapidly intensifying overnight, a tropical depression will impact the Tampa area and Floridians must prepare for impacts to Southwest Florida. Just as with last year’s storms, I encourage Floridians to get prepared and visit FLGetAPlan.com.
“We are working closely with the National Hurricane Center and continuing to monitor the storm’s development and its potential impacts to Florida. We know that heavy rainfall is expected across Central Florida for the next few days. Our focus is on keeping Florida families safe and we will continue to release updates on this storm as it develops.”
“With Tropical Depression Six [now Tropical Storm Emily] off the coast, all Floridians must be prepared FDEM Director Bryan Koon added. “We are continuing to monitor this storm and its potential impacts, and I encourage everyone to visit FLGetAPlan.com to find storm resources and information.”