Monroe County declares local state of emergency, to review plan on hurricane evacuations

Monroe County officials followed Gov. Ron DeSantis’s declaration of a state of emergency on Friday with their own declaration. Tropical Storm Ian was strengthening in the Caribbean and meteorologists warned it will likely hit Florida as a hurricane next week.

Officials announced they will discuss plans for possible evacuations and the availability of public shelters for visitors, the homeless population, and residents of mobile homes on Saturday morning.

“Today is a planning day, and tomorrow will be our action day. We are prepared to move forward to protect lives and property,” Shannon Weiner, the director of the Monroe County Emergency Management, said in a statement.

Related story: TD 9 strengthens in Caribbean, forecasts to become Hurricane Ian

Tim Bow, a carpenter, was hard at work on Friday evening at a client’s oceanfront home in the upper Florida Keys. He started to place shutters on the windows and doors. He lifted and carried all of the poolside furniture inside.

The property owners consider it a second home, so they are counting on Bow to help them. Residents like Bow will also have to review their evacuation plans, remove objects and furniture from their yards and also protect their windows. Locals like Bow don’t stress. They have been through this before.

Meteorologists forecast Tropical Depression Nine to strengthen into Hurricane Ian and hit Florida next week.
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Related story: Hurricane Specialist and Storm Surge Expert Michael Lowry’s newsletter

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