It's the day before Gov. Ron DeSantis' (R-FL) election, and he's ordering an emergency in 34 counties due to the incoming storm, named Nicole. He also warned the full group of 67 counties to stay vigilant and aware of where the storm was headed and its severity.
Florida has already been battered this year with the west coast earning a brutal hit and local governments in Lee County holding off evacuations until it was too late. This time around, DeSantis may take over the leadership himself to prevent the Lee County disaster from happening again.
As the hurricane watch was issued, the east coast of Florida and meteorologists are watching to see if the storm takes a turn to hit Florida dead on as a hurricane. Thus far, they're anticipating that Nicole will hit as a Category 1 storm, a far cry from the massive Category 4 that Hurricane Ian made landfall on the state in September.
Western Florida is still recovering from the September disaster, with many unable to rebuild at all due to an inability to afford homeowner's insurance. Tourism in the area has taken a massive hit since the storm, according to TravelPulse.com.
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Tourism earned $42 million in 2019, the last year before the pandemic, and that rose to $53.3 million in 2021 and to $64 million in the first eight months of 2022, according to Fox4 News Fort Myers. County tourism officials say that the final part of the year will be "a wash" due to the rebuilding and clean-up efforts.
Counties in the list from DeSantis are: Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, DeSoto, Duval, Flagler, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Nassau, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Polk, Putnam, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, St. Lucie, Sumter, and Volusia
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