Today, Gov. Ron DeSantis issued Executive Order 21-150, declaring a state of emergency for 15 counties in Tropical Storm Elsa's potential strike zone, including Sarasota and Manatee. State officials are telling Floridians in the forecast path to begin preparing for Elsa's impacts as early as Monday. Though the storm was recently downgraded to a tropical storm from a hurricane, impacts could include isolated tornadoes, heavy rain, flooding and storm surge. On Saturday night, July 3, the National Hurricane Center reported that Elsa had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.
By declaring a state of emergency, DeSantis is ensuring that state and local governments have ample time, resources and flexibility to prepare for Elsa to make landfall. The State Emergency Operations Center also activated to a Level 2 on Saturday morning, enhancing the coordination between federal, state and local emergency management agencies.
In Sarasota and Manatee, officials are continuing to monitor the storm and urge residents to review their emergency preparedness plans. The National Hurricane Center also issues updates every three hours; see the most recent here.