The storm may cause power outages and local flooding.
Tropical Storm Erika is now expected to swing in a northbound arc across the state of Florida, and Flagler County issued a state of local emergency effective at 9:30 a.m. Friday after Gov. Rick Scott issued a statewide executive order for all 67 Florida counties, according to a Flagler County news release.
As of 2 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, the storm was approaching the Dominican Republic with winds around 50 mph. Its current track has it brushing northeastern Cuba Saturday, then heading Sunday into open water — where it could strengthen —before making landfall in southwestern Florida Monday morning and traveling north across the state Monday and Tuesday.
“We have to plan for the worst and hope for the best,” Flagler County Administrator Craig Coffey said in the news release. “We have to be ready to assist our residents in any way we can.”
At this point, the storm is projected to remain a tropical storm, with winds between 39 mph and 73 mph. But tropical cyclone forecasts can change suddenly.
“There is a lot of information about this storm, but please don’t become complacent,” Public Safety Emergency Manager Kevin Guthrie said in the news release. “The ground is already saturated, so we may very well have some localized flooding.”
Officials have advised residents to pick up debris around their homes and stock up on food that does not require electricity to prepare.