South Florida Officials Urge Preparedness for Tropical Depression Nine

With much of Florida in the “cone of concern” Friday for a tropical depression that was expected to eventually become a hurricane, state and local leaders were urging residents to begin preparations.

Tropical Depression Nine formed early Friday and could possibly become Hurricane Hermine, forecasters said.

Although the track of the storm remained uncertain, it was expected to impact the state in one form or another, with rain or wind or both.

At a news conference Friday, Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said it was time to make preparations.

“No cause for panic but we want everyone to be prepared,” Levine Cava said at the briefing. “Now is the time to make sure that you have a hurricane plan in place.”

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was expected to give a briefing Friday afternoon.

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The Florida Division of Emergency Management said Friday that they were monitoring the system and also urged residents to prepare.

“The Division is working closely with our federal, state and local partners to ensure we are prepared to provide assistance to impacted areas if Tropical Depression Nine makes landfall in Florida next week,” Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said in a statement. “It is critical that Floridians remain vigilant and prepared – it only takes one storm to cause costly or irreversible damage to your home or business.”

National Weather Service Meteorologist Kelly Godsey said the storm could reach the Gulf of Mexico by late Monday or early Tuesday.

“It’s a great time to take advantage of the quiet weather that is ongoing now, before any tropical systems get here, to make sure that you have supplies for yourself, for your family,” Godsey said. “Know what you are going to do if the storm happens to approach your area.”

Officials with the American Red Cross South Florida Region said they are also preparing in advance of impacts.

“Our teams are coordinating with partners, reviewing our response plans, mobilizing volunteers, and preparing supplies, to be ready to provide aid, as needed,” Red Cross South Florida CEO Josett Valdez said. “And we urge our neighbors to monitor the storm closely and take the time to prepare.”