ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — As people move on or continue to recover from Hurricane Ian's impact across Florida, the tropics aren't showing signs of quieting down just yet during the last month of hurricane season.
Gov. Ron DeSantis encouraged people across the state on Sunday to be prepared for likely impacts from Tropical Storm Nicole, which developed early Monday from Invest 98-L.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management and DeSantis are in contact with local officials from all counties in Florida, the governor's office said in a news release.
“I encourage all Floridians to be prepared and make a plan in the event a storm impacts Florida,” DeSantis said in a statement. “We will continue to monitor the path and trajectory of Invest 98-L and we remain in constant contact with all state and local government partners.”
The governor's office says regardless of how serious the system will be, people need to prepare for the worst-case scenarios, including the risk of coastal flooding, heavy winds, rain, rip currents and beach erosion.
It is possible Nicole could be at or near hurricane strength on Wednesday and Thursday before it approaches the northwestern Bahamas and the east coast of Florida. This brings the potential for dangerous storm surge, damaging winds and heavy rainfall to a portion of those areas, the NHC says.
It will still bring heavy rainfall, the risk of coastal flooding, strong winds and rough surf. The southeastern United States coast, Florida and the Bahamas will all feel the impacts of this system for the middle of this week.
"As the Division continues to support communities in their recovery from Hurricane Ian, we are now closely monitoring 98L," FDEM director Kevin Guthrie said in a statement. “It is critical for Floridians to review their disaster preparedness plans and follow all directions from local officials in anticipation of potential impacts.”
The governor's office says that DeSantis advises people across the state to review their disaster preparedness plans, listen to all orders from local officials, know their evacuation zone, have multiple ways to receive weather alerts and keep car gas tanks at least half fuel.