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Tropical Storm Erika Could Bring Wind, Rain To First Coast Next Week

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

Tropical Storm Erika is following a path that could end Florida’s 10-year run without a hurricane.  State and county emergency-management officials are closely monitoring the storm’s predicted path.

Bob Pickering is a Flagler County emergency management technician. He says Erika’s current path puts her 35 miles off the coast of Cape Canaveral early next week. That could mean a wet, windy Monday and Tuesday for the First Coast.

But everything could change within the next two days.

“There’s some speculation at the Hurricane Center that the storm may or may not survive the next couple days because of interaction with the island of Hispaniola, if it does interact with it,” Pickering said. “Plus it is going into a very hostile environment.”

Erika could hit unfavorable conditions and dissipate altogether, he says.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is warning families to get prepared as the storm develops.

“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, but get ready,” Scott said Thursday.

“If you have a family member that might need to be evacuated, know where they’re going to be evacuated to.  If you have a special-needs family member, know where they would be evacuated to. Make sure you have three days’ of food, three days’ of water, make sure you have your medicine, think about each and every family member,” he said.

As of Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service predicts Erika will make landfall in South Florida late Sunday or early Monday.