UPDATE: Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday expanded an executive order related to Hurricane Sally to include the counties of Escambia, Santa Rosa, Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Walton, and Washington.
With Hurricane Sally rolling into the Gulf of Mexico, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday declared a state of emergency for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties in the Florida Panhandle.
Monday, the incoming hurricane strengthened to a Category 2 hurricane — another storm in the busy 2020 hurricane season.
The Weather Channel projects that “life-threatening storm surge is expected, particularly in parts of southeast Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.”
For Florida, Hurricane Sally is expecting heavy rain and flooding to the northwest counties. Escambia has already issued a volunteer evacuation for certain areas and could see a storm surge of two to four feet, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
“Now, we don’t necessarily expect hurricane force winds in those areas at this time,” DeSantis said. “But we think it’s very likely that there will be tropical storm force winds in those areas.”
He is concerned about the storm slowing down in that area, which he said could “dump up to 25 inches of rain in those Northwest Florida counties.”
The Weather Channel reports that “Flooding rain is a major threat from Sally on the Gulf Coast and farther inland across the Southeast this week.”
DeSantis addressed the potential of needing to add more counties to the state of emergency should Hurricane Sally change course and push further east.
For now, he asks the citizens of Escambia and Santa Rosa to listen to their local officials for updates on how to address Hurricane Sally and to evacuate if they are advised to do so.