Florida Gov. Scott to declare State of Emergency ahead of what is now Tropical Storm Michael

UPDATE: The storm is now officially Tropical Storm Michael, per the latest update from the National Hurricane Center.

Track the storm here

Note: This may not be the most recent forecast, please visit www.myfox8.com or open the FOX8 app for the very latest. 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced that he will on Sunday declare a state of emergency for counties in the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend as the state continues to monitor and prepare for what could become Hurricane Michael.

By declaring this state of emergency, Gov. Scott is ensuring that state and local government has ample time, resources and flexibility to get prepared for this storm.

Gov. Scott will be traveling to Tallahassee today to receive a briefing from federal, state and local emergency management officials.

According to the latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Depression 14 is expected to strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall in the western Florida Panhandle on Wednesday. For more information about impacts in the Piedmont Triad click here.

Florida’s State Emergency Operations Center will activate to a Level 2 Sunday morning which means the State Emergency Response Team (SERT) has activated, enhancing coordination between federal, state and local emergency management agencies.

Gov. Scott said, “With the National Hurricane Center forecasting Tropical Depression 14 to strengthen and impact Florida’s Panhandle as a hurricane, families need to get prepared. Our state understands how serious tropical weather is and how devastating any hurricane or tropical storm can be. As we continue to monitor this storm’s northward path toward Florida, it is critically important that our communities have every available resource to keep everyone safe and prepared.”

“If any Florida family doesn’t have an emergency preparedness plan, now is the time to act,” Scott said. “Floridians also know just how quickly the path of a storm can change and that’s why we all must be vigilant and get prepared today.”