MIAMI, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott spoke with the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) and the Florida Department of State (DOS) on potential storm impacts. FDEM is actively monitoring a low pressure area associated with a tropical wave in the Western Atlantic Ocean. FDEM has not yet elevated the activation level of the State Emergency Operations Center, but stands ready to do so if the storm threatens Florida. Portions of South and Central Florida may be at risk for heavy rainfall, potential flooding and rip currents late this weekend through early next week.

Governor Scott said, “In Florida, we must always be prepared for a storm before landfall. Now is the time to gather supplies and ensure our families, homes and businesses are fully prepared for any potential storm impact. With the threat of a developing storm, we must continue to dump standing water since we are also working to combat the Zika virus. With the primary elections on Tuesday, I also encourage all Floridians to take advantage of early voting opportunities in case there is a storm in our state next week. This storm should serve as a reminder for everyone to get a plan if they don’t already have one.”

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) is referring to the developing storm as Invest 99L, and estimates it to have a 40 percent chance of cyclone formation in the next 48 hours and a 70 percent chance of cyclone formation within the next five days. The NHC does not anticipate any direct impacts to Florida prior to the the early morning hours of Sunday, August 28th.

Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management Bryan W. Koon said, “We are actively monitoring Invest 99L, and are regularly and continuously engaging our state and local partners as this system continues to develop. Right now, the system is still somewhat disorganized, and its specific track and level of intensity remain uncertain. I encourage everyone to have a plan in place for yourself, your family, and your workplace or business, and be prepared to follow your plan should this event impact your area.”

Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner said, “Florida’s Primary Election is on Tuesday, August 30. While it is too premature to determine if voters will be impacted by adverse weather conditions, I encourage all Florida voters who have not voted by mail to get ahead of any possible weather disturbances by voting early. All 67 Florida counties are offering early voting through Saturday, August 27. The following ten Florida counties are offering an additional day of early voting on Sunday, August 28: Bradford, Broward, Charlotte, Duval, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, and Pinellas.”

The NHC is monitoring the progress of this as it continues to develop and expects to have a more accurate estimate of the system’s track and level of intensity once it passes through the Bahamas in the next 24-48 hours. Heavy rainfall is anticipated over portions of Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos, and the southeastern and central Bahamas during the next couple of days.

The next name on the 2016 Atlantic Storm name list is Hermine (pronounced Er-meen).

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The Florida Division of Emergency Management is the state agency charged with preparing for all types of disasters in Florida.  The Division is the state’s disaster liaison with federal and local agencies, and is the lead consequence management agency for the State Emergency Response Team (SERT).  The Division maintains the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in Tallahassee and the State Warning Point, the 24-hour communications and command center for response coordination. Follow the Division on social media at facebook.com/FloridaSERT or on Twitter @FLSERT.

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