Gov. Ron DeSantis declares state of emergency for some counties ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa

Preparing for tropical storm Elsa

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis on Saturday declared a state of emergency ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa.

DeSantis held a news conference after 5 p.m. and declared a state of emergency for the following counties: Charlotte, Citrus, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lee, Levy, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pasco, Pinellas and Sarasota.

[TRENDING: Tracking Elsa | Brevard, Volusia counties do not recertify older condos | Orlando market sees historic rent hikes]

“I’m encouraging Floridians to begin their preparation effort. This includes have a stocked disaster kit with at least seven days of supplies and developing a disaster plan ahead of the storm,” he said during Saturday evening’s update. “Remember to plan for your pets, anyone in your home with special needs and check on your neighbors and the elderly.”

A state of emergency allows for schools to be used as shelters, eliminates tolls on roads, and bans price gouging. The state’s price gouging hotline has also been activated ahead of Tropical Storm Elsa, according to the Florida Attorney General’s Office.

Elsa was downgraded from a Category 1 hurricane late Saturday morning and is expected to continue weakening back into a tropical storm after interacting Hispaniola and Cuba, according to the National Hurricane Center.

About the Authors:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.