Gov. DeSantis expands State of Emergency to 15 counties following storm patterns

by | May 13, 2024

Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an Executive Order on Monday expanding the state of emergency to 15 additional counties in North Florida following Friday’s severe tornadoes and storms. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday issued an Executive Order that expands the ongoing State of Emergency to encompass 15 counties in response to the series of tornadoes and inclement storms that swept through North Florida on Friday.

The initial order declared a state of emergency for several counties following the severe weather event that caused extensive damage, power outages, and widespread debris. The amended order extends this declaration to include Baker, Columbia, Escambia, Gadsden, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Suwannee, Taylor, and Wakulla counties.

“Thousands of Floridians in North Florida have lost power and are further impacted due to the widespread debris caused by the tornadoes, strong winds and heavy rain,” DeSantis stated in the order.

The expanded state of emergency allows for the allocation of state resources and personnel to assist in the recovery efforts. This includes the deployment of the Florida National Guard, expedited provision of aid to affected communities, and facilitation of coordination between state and local agencies.

Friday’s weather event saw numerous tornadoes and strong wind gusts ravage parts of North Florida, causing significant damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure.

As of Monday afternoon, Leon County — the epicenter of the storm damage — continues to face widespread power outages, with 15.13 percent of customers affected, according to Out of 131,557 tracked customers, 19,898 are without power. The City of Tallahassee, the primary provider, reports 18,939 outages. Talquin Electric Cooperative has 959 outages among its 26,055 customers, while Duke Energy and Grady EMC report 64 and 10 outages, respectively.


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