Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Sunday urged residents to prepare for a potential tropical depression that could hit the state’s east coast later this week.
An area of low pressure located more than 200 miles north of Puerto Rico as of Sunday afternoon, known as Invest 98L, is likely to form a subtropical or tropical storm in the next day or so, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).
“Regardless of development, there is an increasing risk of coastal flooding, tropical-storm-force winds, heavy rainfall, rough surf and beach erosion along much of the southeastern United States coast, the Florida east coast, and portions of the central and northwestern Bahamas beginning in the early to middle part of this week,” NHC’s forecast states.
The agency said it may issue tropical storm, hurricane or storm surge watches for some areas by early Monday.
“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 98L and we remain in constant contact with all state and local government partners.”
1pm EST Sunday Nov 6–Key Messages for Area of Low Pressure over the SW Atlantic.
Interests along SE US coast, E Florida, & C-NW Bahamas should monitor closely. Storm Surge, Tropical Storm, & Hurricane Watches could be needed for parts on Monday.
Latest: https://t.co/tW4KeGe9uJ pic.twitter.com/SwcLhnNSCm
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) November 6, 2022
The state is still recovering from Hurricane Ian, although the brunt of the storm’s impacts hit Florida’s Gulf Coast near Tampa.
DeSantis urged residents to review disaster plans and keep their gas tanks at least half-full as the storm approaches.
“As the Division continues to support communities in their recovery from Hurricane Ian, we are now closely monitoring 98L,” said Florida Department of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie. “It is critical for Floridians to review their disaster preparedness plans and follow all directions from local officials in anticipation of potential impacts.”