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'Have a plan': Officials encourage preparation ahead of potential hurricane

 Projected path for Tropical Storm Nine according to the latest National Hurricane Center as of 11am Friday morning.
FPREN
Projected path for Tropical Storm Nine according to the latest National Hurricane Center as of 11am Friday morning.

Tropical Depression Nine formed this morning in the Caribbean and looks set to develop into a hurricane by Monday morning - with Florida potentially on its path soon after that.

Although it is too early for an accurate forecast, the National Hurricane Center's latest model has South Florida in the storm's ‘cone’, with tropical storm winds possibly arriving as early as Monday afternoon.

Currently the forecast has the storm potentially striking the central-south parts of the Gulf coast as a category 3 system between Tuesday and Wednesday - but much can change in the coming hours and days.

In a press conference this morning, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava spoke about the storm and how residents can prepare for what may come.

"It's still early and the exact forecast remains uncertain," she said. "Florida is in the cone of concern and we urge our community to continue monitoring this storm.

“Now is the time to make sure you have a hurricane plan in place for yourself and your family and to double-check that you have a hurricane emergency kit and it is fully stocked."

 Forecast model showing the earliest reasonable arrival time of tropical storm force winds brought by Tropical Depression Nine, as of 11am Friday morning.
National Hurricane Center
Forecast model showing the earliest reasonable arrival time of tropical storm force winds brought by Tropical Depression Nine, as of 11am Friday morning.

Miami-Dade County's Emergency Management Director, Pete Gomez, said they are monitoring the storm and ensuring that the county's key departments know what is to come and that residents know what to prepare for.

"Right now, the biggest message to the community is to be prepared," said Gomez. "Make sure that your hurricane plans are up to date and you have everything taken care of prior to the event, especially if you live in an evacuation zone.

“Know where you're going, make sure your cars are fueled up, and another important part is - if you've got pets, you know, make sure that we take care of our pets."

Gomez says that the County Department of Emergency Management will be having daily calls with the National Hurricane Center, Regional Emergency Managers, and the State of Florida Emergency Management to ensure a coordinated response to the storm.

Depending on how soon it develops into a tropical storm, the system could be named Hermine or Ian.

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Helen Acevedo