Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said the state has 16,000 linemen staged as it braces for a late-season storm, over a month after the landfall of Hurricane Ian on Florida’s west coast.
“On Monday, I declared a state of emergency for 34 counties to ensure Floridians had time to get ready. The state is prepared to respond to this storm. We have 16,000 linemen staged, 600 guardsmen activated, and 7 Urban Search and Rescue teams on standby to deploy,” DeSantis said Wednesday morning following his decisive victory in the gubernatorial race, besting Rep. Charlie Crist (D-FL) by over 1.5 million votes:
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On Monday, I declared a state of emergency for 34 counties to ensure Floridians had time to get ready. The state is prepared to respond to this storm.
We have 16,000 linemen staged, 600 guardsmen activated, and 7 Urban Search and Rescue teams on standby to deploy.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) November 9, 2022
The 10 a.m. ET advisory on the storm warns of “hurricane conditions” across “portions of the east coast of southeast and east-central Florida beginning this evening or tonight, where a Hurricane Warning is in effect.” It also warns of a “dangerous storm surge” along “much of the east coast of Florida, portions of coastal Georgia, and the Florida Big Bend along the Gulf coast.”
Additionally, the update warns those in the path to “not” focus on the “extract track” of the storm, as it effects will be felt well outside the cone — more specifically, “well to the north of the center, outside of the forecast zone”:
Here are the 10 AM EST Wednesday Key Messages for Tropical Storm #Nicole. Hurricane & tropical storm conditions and a dangerous storm surge are expected in
portions of the northwestern Bahamas today.
Latest at: https://t.co/tW4KeGe9uJ pic.twitter.com/9DJuxGgtrE
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) November 9, 2022
11/09 10am EST: A dangerous storm surge from #Nicole is expected along much of the E coast of FL, portions of coastal GA, & FL Big Bend. The storm surge will be accompanied by large & damaging waves along the Atlantic coast. Residents should listen to advice from local officials. pic.twitter.com/D1yx4pkAyb
— NHC Storm Surge (@NHC_Surge) November 9, 2022
On Tuesday, Orlando’s airport announced that it would “cease commercial operations at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, ahead of the storm’s arrival:
We will continue to monitor Tropical Storm Nicole to determine the potential impact at MCO. We ask you to please continue to work with your airline directly in regards to your specific flight. Thank you.
— Orlando International Airport (@MCO) November 8, 2022
As #Nicole gets closer, time ticks away to airport closures, including at Orlando International Airport – @MCO at 4PM/ET. @WaltDisneyWorld and other @DisneyParks and @UniversalORL will also be closing this evening. @weatherchannel is live ǳ Our team from #Orlando 5-9PM. pic.twitter.com/8kvULrNnTg
— Justin Michaels (@JMichaelsNews) November 9, 2022
— Charles Peek (@CharlesPeekWX) November 9, 2022
DeSantis’s update follows his administration’s impressive response to Hurricane Ian, with tens of thousands of linemen staged, restoring power for millions of Floridians shortly after the storm passed. That is in addition to the rapid rebuilding of bridges, giving access to island communities once more.