Updated: Tropical Depression Nine is now Tropical Storm Hermine. It is expected to make landfall in the panhandle. The Coastal areas of Franklin and Wakulla County are under evacuation notices, and Big Bend school districts have announced closures.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has issued a state of emergency for 42 counties as Tropical Storm Hermine prepares to make landfall. The storm is headed for the panhandle.
Governor Scott is crisscrossing the panhandle in a bid to raise awareness for what may be the first hurricane to hit the state in more than a decade. Scott says with the storm on course to cut across North Florida, residents from Panama City to Jacksonville should be prepared.
“You as an individual have to do your part,” Scott says. “Have water—three days of water, three days of food.”
“If you think you might need to go to a shelter know where a shelter is,” he says. “If you need a special needs shelter or if a family member needs one know where they are. If you need a pet shelter know where those are.”
Emergency officials upgraded Tropical Depression Nine to a named storm by the end of the day Wednesday. They also warn the storm could become a category one hurricane before it reaches shore.