Gov. Rick Scott said about 18,000 homes and businesses were without power Monday afternoon as Tropical Storm Emily made landfall on Florida’s west coast. Scott, who called the number of outages “minimum,” had earlier in the day declared a state of emergency in 31 counties after the storm formed quickly in the Gulf of Mexico, off Tampa Bay.
Heavy rains and winds are expected across Central Florida. “I’ve reached out to all the larger (utility) companies, and municipalities and co-ops,” Scott said. “Everyone who has outages is working hard.”
Scott, who had been vacationing in Maine with his wife, returned to Florida because of Emily. Power outages were reported in Sarasota, Manatee and Hillsborough counties. The storm, moving east at 10 mph, had fallen to 40 mph maximum sustained winds at 2 p.m., down from 45 mph at 11 a.m.
“On the forecast track, the center of Emily will continue to move farther inland over the west-central Florida peninsula this afternoon, and move across central Florida through tonight,” the National Hurricane Center said. “Emily is forecast to move offshore of the east-central Florida coast Tuesday morning.” The governor’s office said no evacuation orders had been given, while the Florida National Guard had been ordered to stand ready.
Reposted with permission from The News Service of Florida