Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a State of Emergency for Florida as it appeared Hurricane Dorian could hit the East Coast on Monday morning as a Category 3 storm.
In his statement to Floridians, DeSantis said residents should have seven days of supplies available, including food, water and medicine. And he encouraged everyone to have a disaster plan in place.
By declaring the State of Emergency, DeSantis ensured that state and local governments have ample time, resources and flexibility to prepare for the hurricane. The State Emergency Operations Center will activate to a Level 2 on Thursday morning, which will enhance the coordination between federal, state and local emergency management agencies.
“I will continue to monitor Hurricane Dorian closely with emergency management officials,” said DeSantis, who is handling his first major hurricane since being elected as governor in November 2018. “The state stands ready to support all counties along the coast as they prepare.”
Jared Moskowitz, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said it’s extremely important for Floridians to continue to closely monitor news about Dorian because the storm’s exact path remains uncertain.
“Every resident along the East Coast needs to be ready,” he said. “The track of this storm has been changing and can continue to change rapidly.”
Regardless of where Dorian comes ashore – forecasters are predicting anywhere from Savanah, Ga. to Miami – the southeastern part of the country is expected to get four to eight inches of rain, with some areas experiencing as much as 10 inches, forecasters say.
Meanwhile, the Marion County Emergency Management staff swung into action Wednesday and was closely monitoring Dorian and continuing to wait for better information on when and where it will make landfall in Florida.
Emergency management officials encouraged residents to sign up for AlertMarion to recent alert warnings as Dorian bears down on the area.
In Marion County, sandbags will be available starting Friday at 7 a.m. Residents must fill their own bags and the five locations will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Those are:
- Belleview Sports Complex, 6501 SE 107th St., Belleview;
- Dunnellon City Complex, 11924 Bostick Street, Dunnellon;
- Wrigley Field, 405 County Road E 316, Citra;
- Reilly Arts Center, 500 NE 9th St., Ocala; and
- Ed Crosky Recreation Center, 1510 NW Fourth St., Ocala.
Late Wednesday afternoon, Marion County Schools officials also announced changes for scheduled football games:
- Forest High at Lake Weir High will be Thursday, Junior Varsity at 5:30 p.m. The varsity teams will play 30 minutes after the conclusion of the JV game.
- North Marion High will host Palatka High on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The JV game will be rescheduled for a later date.
- West Port High will host Dunnellon High Thursday at 7 p.m. The JV game will be rescheduled for a later date.