The State of Florida Issues Tropical Storm Elsa Updates

7/5/2021

The State of Florida Issues Tropical Storm Elsa Updates

Governor Ron DeSantis is in constant communication with Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) Director Kevin Guthrie as the State of Florida continues to monitor and respond to the threat of Tropical Storm Elsa.

Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-151, expanding the State of Emergency for Tropical Storm Elsa. The State of Emergency now includes the following counties: Alachua, Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, Columbia, Dixie, Franklin, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Marion, Monroe, Pasco, Pinellas, Sarasota, Sumter, Suwanee, Taylor and Wakulla counties. DeSoto, Hardee and Miami-Dade counties are no longer under a State of Emergency due to the changed projected path of Tropical Storm Elsa. 

At the request of Governor DeSantis, FEMA has granted a pre-landfall Emergency Declaration for 15 counties in Florida in anticipation of impacts from Tropical Storm Elsa. This declaration grants Public Assistance Category B for emergency protective measures, limited to direct federal assistance and reimbursement for mass care, including evacuation and sheltering support. Additionally, the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) is coordinating with FEMA to amend the pre-landfall Emergency Declaration to include the counties named in the Governor's expanded Executive Order: Alachua, Columbia, Dixie, Franklin, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Marion, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor and Wakulla counties. Governor DeSantis’ letter to President Biden is available here. The Emergency Declaration is available here.

Current forecasts project Tropical Storm Elsa will impact the Florida Keys overnight, July 5, and the Florida West Coast and portions of the Florida Panhandle Tuesday, July 6 and Wednesday, July 7. Tropical Storm Elsa has the potential to re-strengthen to near-hurricane strength before making landfall in Florida. The storm poses risks of storm surge, heavy rainfall, flash flooding and isolated tornado activity.

Tropical Storm Warnings are currently in effect for the following 12 Florida Gulf Coast counties: Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Monroe, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota counties. 

State preparation and response efforts for Tropical Storm Elsa include: 

Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM)

  • FDEM is leading the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) in responding to Tropical Storm Elsa.
  • FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie held calls with County Emergency Management Directors in impacted counties to discuss unmet needs and storm preparations.
  • FDEM has issued Emergency Order 21-006, which waives certain requirements that pertain to FDEM’s ability to quickly and efficiently take actions to facilitate the mitigation, response and recovery necessary to respond to Tropical Storm Elsa.
  • The State Emergency Operations Center is activated at a Level 2 partial activation to monitor Tropical Storm Elsa and assist impacted counties.
  • FDEM is currently holding twice-daily calls for all 67 county emergency management offices and state agencies to coordinate protective actions and needed resources ahead of potential storm impacts.
  • The SERT is providing meteorological updates on Tropical Storm Elsa to responding teams in Surfside and is executing contingency plans for the Tropical Storm Elsa co-response.

Florida Department of Elder Affairs (DOEA)

  • DOEA has the 2021 Disaster Resource Guide for Older Adults published on the ElderAffairs.org website for disaster preparedness. The publication contains state and county emergency phone numbers and is available in English and Spanish.

Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)

  • Florida state park closures can be found at FloridaStateParks.org/StormUpdates.
  • DEP has pre-authorized 1,062 Disaster Debris Management Sites throughout the state in preparation of Tropical Storm Elsa impacts.

Florida Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ)

  • DJJ facilities are ensuring the safety of staff and juveniles through protective actions against potential impacts from Tropical Storm Elsa, including: ensuring all vehicles have a full tank of gas in the event of evacuation, moving vehicles in low-lying and flood-prone areas to higher ground and performing generator tests in the event of loss of power.

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT)

  • In preparation of Tropical Storm Elsa, FDOT facilities are refueling generators and performing generator tests in the event of loss of power.
  • Two fuel tanks in FDOT equipment yards have been filled, and all FDOT vehicles have a full tank of gas in the event of evacuation.

Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV)

  • FLHSMV issued Emergency Order 070421, which waives specific requirements for commercial motor vehicles providing emergency relief; and waives the replacement fees for driver license and identification credentials, vehicle registrations and titles, vessel registrations and titles and temporary parking permits for impacted individuals.

Florida Department of Education (DOE)

  • Hillsborough County Early Learning Coalition offices will be closed Tuesday, July 6, and staff will work from home.
  • St. Petersburg College will be closed Tuesday, July 6 and host classes virtually.
  • Charlotte County Schools has cancelled all student activities on Tuesday, July 6, and employees should not report to work.

Lee County schools will close all school sites on Tuesday, July 6, however, summer school classes will be conducted virtually. Staff should report to work.

Updated: Monday, July 5, 2021
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