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Hurricane Idalia information: An ongoing story

Oct 26, 2023

FLOODING IN PUNTA GORDA (11 am Wednesday): Punta Gorda flooding -At this time, Marion Ave. and Cooper St. are under water and shut down. Traffic coming off of 75 is being diverted back on to 75 and directed to another exit. Also, the 41 North bridge in to Port Charlotte and the 41 South bridge in to Punta Gorda are shut down due to flooded roadways.Please use alternate routes at this time.


Lee County government offices to close Wednesday

Lee County Government will be closed on Wednesday to ensure as few people as possible need to travel during the tropical conditions.

Employees at the Emergency Operations Center and in departments that are necessary for tropical events will be working.

Lee County Solid Waste will operate regular collection Wednesday, Aug. 30. Residents who have regularly scheduled pickup on Wednesday should place waste containers by the curb by 7:30 or 8 a.m. There is no need to place containers out overnight.

LeeTran will resume its operations tomorrow. Fixed routes will begin slightly later and with staggered starts. Check LeeTran’s Facebook page or the website. Or find the link to information at

The Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery meeting that was canceled tonight due to the storm has been rescheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug.31, at BIG ARTS on Sanibel.

As Hurricane Idalia moves to the north, the anticipated heavy rain bands have moved into Lee County. These bands include downpours, thunder and lightning – with possible tornadic activity. Isolated, localized flooding has been reported on coastal roads, which is consistent with the forecast. In part, that’s because these bands are coinciding with high tide, fueled by onshore winds from the storm.

Traveling tonight is not advised because it will be more difficult to see areas of standing water. Motorists should make every effort to stay home tonight.

The onshore winds will drive localized flooding on the coast even after the storm is north of Lee County.

When you see reports that the storm has gone by, please continue to use caution. There is a lot of storm activity on the south side of this hurricane. Continue to monitor local meteorologists’ reports.

Lee County’s Safe Havens remain open at the North Fort Myers Recreation Center and Estero Recreation Center. There are about 51 people and seven pets in the Safe Havens, which are designed to help communities where people are still living in Ian-damaged homes or trailers. There are no evacuation orders in effect.

For the latest updates, log on to and follow Lee County Government on Facebook,

Lee County’s next livestream update is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. Visit

Roads conditions can change within a matter of miles. Take note:

Six inches of water can cause problems with your vehicle

* One foot of water can sweep away cars

* Two feet of water can sweep away SUVs

It’s best to avoid driving if possible and not drive through floodwaters.

The following roads in Naples are experiencing flooding:

TUESDAY, 11 AM: Lee County continues to encourage residents to monitor local forecasts as well as the National Hurricane Center and National Weather Service. Forecasters are calling for rapid intensification as the storm passes to the west of Lee County, and even after the storm passes, conditions will demand that residents use common sense and caution.

There is also a lot of storm activity on the south side of this hurricane. That will continue into the evening and overnight. Be vigilant and smart.

The Lee County Emergency Operations Center continues to operate at a Level 1 activation and is holding regularly scheduled briefings with partners such as the Florida Division of Emergency Management, the National Hurricane Center and the National Weather Service, as well as local EOC partners.


The county reminds residents that there are no evacuation orders in place and none are anticipated.

To help residents from coastal areas who may be in housing still recovering from Hurricane Ian damage, the county opened two Safe Havens Monday night. Locations are:

The Safe Havens remain open today. Pets are welcome; Lee County Domestic Animal Services staff members are on site.

LeeTran’s free shuttles to both Safe Havens will continue this morning. Last pickup on places such as Pine Island is at 12:30 p.m. today. Find details at

Residents who want to take advantage of a Safe Haven are asked to arrive by lunchtime in advance of the anticipated deteriorating weather conditions.


Lee County Government is closed today.

Regular curbside trash collection is continuing. Trucks deployed today as early as possible and Solid Waste reports no problems.


Lee County EOC will continue to monitor throughout the day, especially the squall lines.

EOC is staffed with county employees and local partners who are well positioned to implement any response activities needed throughout the duration of the storm.

Lee County is committed to providing the community regular updates.

Announcements related to county operations for Wednesday will be forthcoming.


The Florida Department of Transportation projects on the Sanibel Causeway and the Matlacha area are secured. Contractors are mobilized and will be monitoring the sites and will immediately inspect the sites after the storm passes.

Lee County does not literally “close” bridges during tropical storms or hurricanes with barricades, cones, gates or signs because they can easily blow away, becoming ineffective and hazardous.

Lee DOT strongly advises motorists to stay off bridges – and the roads leading to them— when sustained winds reach 40 mph (tropical storm force). At those speeds, wind gusts can already be much higher. Winds also become stronger at higher elevations, so dangers increase on higher bridges and elevated roadways.

Motorists may encounter law enforcement officers during weather events around and near bridges. Follow the directions given.


Lee County is included in the Governor’s Executive Order, and the county is under a State of Local Emergency. This SOLE is a necessary step to ensure the county can recovery any costs, should damage occur. Each storm needs its own SOLE for this purpose.


For questions regarding preparation for Tropical Storm Idalia, contact United Way 211, which is a program that provides free information and referral to human/social service agencies within Lee, Hendry and Glades counties. United Way 211 is a partner with Lee County Emergency Operations. Dial dial 2-1-1 or call (239) 433-3900.


Lee County will continue updates via livestream and on Follow Lee County Government on Facebook,

To watch the Tuesday morning update, go to evacuation orders are in place, and the county does not anticipate issuing any based on the forecast.

T.S. Idalia is paralleling the Lee County coast and will create tropical storm conditions for coastal communities, many of which continue to recover from Hurricane Ian. That is why Lee County announced the opening of two Safe Havens at 7 p.m. today. These are not shelters. They are a safe place for anyone who does not feel secure in their housing situation and who perhaps does not have a friend’s home or a family member’s home to go to.

The two Safe Havens will remain open tomorrow as Lee County monitors the conditions.They will be located at two county sites:

If you need transportation to one of these sites but don’t have a vehicle, you can still get there.LeeTran will activate emergency transportation service 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. tonight from Pine Island and Fort Myers Beach to the Safe Haven locations ahead of Hurricane Idalia.Visit to link to that LeeTran info and see maps for pickup, or call United Way’s 211 line. You can dial 2-1-1 or call 239-433-3900.All LeeTran bus fares were temporarily waived until further notice beginning at 5 p.m. today. Those with special transportation needs should call 211 for additional assistance.

The storm forecast has forced the cancellation of the meeting planned for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29, at Big Arts Sanibel, 900 Dunlop Road, to receive public comment and input on the Draft Action Plan for the $1.1 billion Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funds.

The public still has an opportunity to provide comment and input. The Draft Action Plan is published at through Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023. Comments can be emailed to [email protected], mailed to Lee County Administration in care of the Office of Strategic Resources, 2115 Second St., Fort Myers, Fl, 33901.

Lee County Government will be closed Tuesday to ensure as few people as possible need to travel during the tropical conditions. Links are available at to other sites such as city halls and constitutional offices. Residents should check there before driving to offices, as some are open and some will be closed.

Employees in county departments that are necessary for tropical events as well as employees at the Emergency Operations Center will be working Tuesday.

Lee County’s Board workshop for Tuesday has been canceled.

Lee County Solid Waste will continue its Tuesday curbside collections as scheduled.

Solid Waste’s haulers do not have regularly scheduled routes on barrier islands tomorrow. If Tuesday is your trash day, put out bins tonight. If you are able to bring them back in after the hauler collects trash on Tuesday, do so as soon as possible.

Follow Lee County Government on Facebook, and visit the storm website at


As feeder bands from Hurricane Idalia bring tropical force winds to our area, LCEC reminds members that scattered outages may occur. It is essential to remember the following:

· Stay away from downed power lines! Downed lines could be energized and therefore deadly. If you see a downed line:o Call 911.o Never try to move a downed line.o Never drive over or near a downed power line or anything in contact with them.· If you experience a power outage and use a portable generator, practice caution!o Don’t connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring at the breaker panel or meter or a regular household outlet.o Don’t overload the generator.o Never use a generator indoors or in an attached garage.o Do not store fuel indoors or try to refuel a generator while it’s running. Turn off all equipment powered by the generator before shutting down your generator.

LCEC crews remain staged on Sanibel Island, Pine Island, Marco Island and in North Fort Myers. These crews will work around-the-clock to restore any power interruptions.

Utilize the Storm Center at to know where power outages are. If your outage is noted on the map, there is no need to call LCEC because we are on the way!

For a comprehensive look at resources available, shelters open by county, evacuation info and more visit, from the Florida Department of Emergency Management.

· The Red Cross also has a good rundown of storm tips and resources.

· Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency in 49 counties as of Tuesday at noon. Among them are these 46: Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Charlotte, Citrus, Clay, Collier, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Hernando, Hillsborough, Lake, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lee, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Manatee, Marion, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam, Nassau, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Volusia, and Wakulla counties.

· The National Hurricane Center will have updates on the storm track and forecast.

Charlotte County state of emergency: The Charlotte County Commission on Monday declared a local state of emergency due to Tropical Storm Idalia. Charlotte County offices and facilities and Charlotte County Public Schools will be closed Tuesday, Aug. 29 and Wednesday, Aug. 30. Fire & EMS stations will remain open. Emergency Management, Public Works and Utilities personnel will continue to perform essential functions, such as water and sewer service, stormwater drainage and storm recovery operations. The Charlotte County landfill and mini-transfer and recycling facilities will remain open on Tuesday, closed Wednesday. Waste Management will perform collection for regular Tuesday customers, with no collection on Wednesday.For Tropical Storm Idalia information, call the Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center at 941-833-4000.Media and public can follow Charlotte County Emergency Management important emergency information at,, and

Estero Recreation Center: Closed until further notice.

Lee County Schools: Out of an abundance of caution due to the forecast winds for our area, Lee school officials made the decision to cancel school, all activities and close all District offices on Tuesday, August 29 and Wednesday, Aug. 30. There will be an update about plans for August 31 by 3 p.m. tomorrow.

Charlotte County Schools: Charlotte County Public Schools continues to work in collaboration with the Charlotte County Emergency Operations Center to closely monitor the approach of Tropical Storm Idalia. The updated forecast shows the probability of tropical storm-force winds impacting Charlotte County.To help our families remain safe and prepared, Charlotte County Schools will be closed on Tuesday, August 29 and Wednesday, August 30, which includes the cancellation of all student activities. We will continue to monitor the storm’s path and make adjustments accordingly. Announcements will be communicated via the phone system and will also be placed on the district website.Rasmussen University Fort Myers campus: All classes and clinicals will be canceled Tuesday, Aug. 29. Faculty and staff may work remotely if it is safe to do so.The University plans to reopen the campus on Wed., Aug. 30—pending conditions—and all classes and clinicals will resume at that time.The University’s administration monitors weather conditions using the National Weather Service and local emergency service agencies in determining a specific course of action during a severe weather event. For status updates, students may call their campus directly or the Personal Support Center at 866-349-4357.Sarasota County Schools: Out of an abundance of caution and due to the latest track of Tropical Storm Idalia, traditional public schools will be closed on Tuesday, Aug. 29 and Wednesday, Aug. 30, in order to function as evacuation centers. If your child is enrolled at a charter school, please check directly with your school for updates on closures. All after-school activities on Monday, Aug. 28, will take place as scheduled.

Florida SouthWestern State College: All campuses and locations will be closed Tuesday, Aug. 29. All classes, services, and activities are canceled.

Decisions about college operations for Wednesday, Aug. 30 will be communicated by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 29 via FSW's official communication channels and

Florida Gulf Coast University: ACADEMICS | All academic classes will shift to remote delivery Tuesday and Wednesday. Faculty members should communicate with students Monday evening regarding assignments and activities that can be completed in lieu of face-to-face meetings. Please be mindful that our region may experience intermittent power and/or internet outages, which could extend into Wednesday depending on the storm’s track. Students, look for communication from your instructors this evening.

EMPLOYEES | Tuesday and Wednesday will be remote days. Administrative offices will be available via a remote environment, and campus will remain open for activated essential personnel. If remote work isn’t possible for your role at the university, please address this with your supervisor to create an alternative plan. Supervisors, please keep in mind that many employees will have children at home due to school closures.

RESIDENTIAL | There is no evacuation of residential students, and housing community offices will remain open Tuesday. We urge our students who live on campus to stay in their units during the height of the storm. SoVi Dining will be open for residential students from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday. Campus shuttles will not be operational.

The following locations will be closed Tuesday:

Anyone planning an in-person meeting or event Tuesday or Wednesday on behalf of FGCU should transition it to a virtual meeting or reschedule the event for another date after the storm passes.Starting now, all campus-wide communications need to route through the FGCU Update email account, and FGCU is suspending any non-emergency posts on all official social media accounts.

Please send any storm-related questions to [email protected].

Bonita Springs: The City of Bonita Springs will continue to post updates and information. Follow the City of Bonita Springs on Facebook, view the City’s August 28th Advisory Declaring A Local State of Emergency, visit the City’s Free Mobile App for Apple or Android, the City of Bonita Springs at for up-to-date information.

County Courthouses closed, but some services available: In an abundance of caution, the 20th Judicial Circuit has closed Collier, Lee, and Charlotte County Courthouses due to the potential of weather impacts from Tropical Storm Idalia.

The Clerk’s office staff will report to work to continue providing essential services for Collier County residents. The main Courthouse Annex will be closed to the public, but all eight satellite offices will be helping taxpayers with services such as processing official records, accepting passports, issuing marriage licenses, processing payments, and providing access to legal forms.

The Collier County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller maintains satellite offices at:

· Airport Road DMV – 725 Airport Road South, Naples, FL 34104

· Eagle Creek - 6654 Collier Boulevard, #101, Naples, FL 34114

· Everglades City Hall - 102 Copeland Ave. North, Everglades City, FL 34139

· Golden Gate - 4715 Golden Gate Parkway, Naples, FL 34116

· Heritage Bay - 15450 Collier Blvd., Naples, FL 34120

· Immokalee Courthouse - 106 South First Street, Immokalee, FL 34142

· Marco Island - 50 Bald Eagle Drive, Marco Island, FL 34145

· North Collier Government Services Center - 2335 Orange Blossom Drive, Naples, FL 34109 Citizens are also encouraged to visit to utilize online services.

COLLIER PARKS CLOSING TUESDAY EVENING: all Collier County Parks (Beaches/Boat Ramps/Community/Regional), will be closing at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 29.

All regular activities and programs scheduled after 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 29, will be canceled and rescheduled. All Afterschool Adventures program will be open until 6:00pm. Parents should pick up children as early as possible, no later than 6:00 p.m.

For more information contact the Collier County Parks & Recreation Division at (239) 252-4000.

LEE COUNTY GOVERNMENT OFFICES: In response to Tropical Storm Idalia, county government offices in Lee County will be closed on Tuesday, August 29, 2023. As a result, the Florida Department of Health in Lee County will also be closed on Tuesday, August 29, 2023.

Updates on Tropical Storm Idalia can be found on the Lee County Government website.

For medical emergencies, please dial 911.DING DARLING NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE — Due to preparations for pending Tropical Storm, the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge on Sanibel Island will be closed Tuesday Aug 29 and will remain closed until further notice.All of our visitors and partners are urged to also take appropriate precautions for the storm.Tarpon Bay Explorers, the official refuge concessionaire, will also be closed all September and will reopen Monday Oct 2, 2023.A safety assessment will be conducted post-storm. The refuge will reopen as soon as it is practically possible. Further announcements will be made at that time. To confirm refuge hours please call 239/ 472-1100 or check the refuge’s official Facebook page for the most current information:

Babcock Ranch: Due to Tropical Storm Idalia, all amenities at Babcock Ranch are closed until further notice. This includes Lake Timber Lodge, Cypress Lodge, the Splash Pad, and the Edgewater pool.

Bonita Springs — Arts Bonita will be closed Tuesday.

CLEARWATER — Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg units are preparing and will respond to impacts from Hurricane Idalia over the next few days.

DeSOTO SHELTER OPEN: Out of an abundance of caution and for those residents still displaced from their homes after Hurricane Ian, a shelter will be open at noon today (Tuesday, Aug. 29) at the Turner Center, 2250 NE Roan Street, Arcadia, FL, 34266.A special needs shelter will be open at noon today at South Florida State College, 2251 NE Turner Ave, Arcadia, FL 34266.Please read all the details regarding shelters at this link:

PORT CHARLOTTE SHELTER: Centennial Park Recreation Center, 1120 Centennial Blvd., Port Charlotte, will be open at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 29. The refuge center is intended for people who feel unsafe or need a place to because of their current living conditions, for example an RV, trailer, or storm-compromised home. Refuge site is pet-friendly. Find a list of what to bring in the Charlotte County Disaster Guide.

SARASOTA: Sarasota County Government: All offices will close today, Aug. 28, at 1 p.m. All offices will be closed Tuesday, Aug. 29, and Wednesday, Aug. 30. Updated Aug. 29: ________________________________ City of Sarasota administrative offices, including all Parks and Recreation facilities, will reopen to the public at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30 after Hurricane Idalia has passed the area.

Solid waste collection will resume on schedule Thursday, Aug. 31.

Tuesday’s residential garbage/recycling pickup that was suspended due to the storm will be collected Saturday, Sept. 2. Residents should place their carts curbside at their regular time for this special Saturday pickup.

The Bay Runner trolley service will resume at noon Wednesday and the City’s micro-mobility operator, Veo, will return e-scooters to designated areas soon.________________________________________________

MARCO ISLAND — The City Council of the City of Marco Island will hold an Emergency Meeting on Monday, August 28, at 4:30pm. There is one item on the agenda: to Declare a State of Emergency for Marco Island for Hurricane Idalia.The agenda will be posted outside City Hall and on the door of the Community Room. It will also be posted on the City’s website.The Meeting will be held in the Community Room at 50 Bald Eagle Dr. Marco Island, FL 34145.

Okeechobee Waterway Lock Operations/Notice to Navigation: Safe harbor lockages will begin on Monday, August 28, to allow safe passage for vessels before Hurricane Idalia makes local landfall. Locks will be open 7 AM to 10 PM supporting vessel safe harbor passage. Lock operations will stop 8 hours prior to landfall, as railroad and drawbridges will be lowered or rotated and locked into a secure position. It's important that all vessels are at their intended destination before bridges are secured and passage across the waterway suspended.No mooring of vessels on Corps Structures during event.For Lock Operator safety, the locks will:1. Stop locking vessels or working outdoors if lightning is observed within five miles of the lock, and operations will not resume until lightning has not been seen in the area for 30 minutes.2. Stop locking vessels when winds exceed 35 MPH.After a storm, it could be days or weeks before the waterway is reopened, depending on damage to structures and how quickly debris creating navigation hazards can be removed. When locking is resumed, it will be at the site’s normal locking hours: Okeechobee Waterway Locks from 7 AM to 5 PM, Canaveral Harbor Lock 6 AM to 9:30 PM.For up-to-date Lock information, contact the shift operator at: Okeechobee Waterway Locks from 7 AM to 5 PM

Charlotte County urges contractor site security: Current forecast tracks show our area may see some impacts from Tropical Storm Idalia as early as midday Tuesday, so now is a good time to think about securing construction job sites.

Secure or remove all loose items or secure items stacked on roofs that could become projectiles in high winds. Secure or remove all construction debris on job sites:

Please keep in mind this time of year that our ground is already very saturated with rain water so it’s imperative that all swales are free of construction materials so water is able to flow. Ensure that anything that can be rain-proofed is protected and, wherever possible, move your construction equipment to a secure area.

Remember: Do not drive through floodwaters or go near downed power lines or near any other hazards. After an event, contractors will be notified by email and information will be posted to the Community Development pages on the county website for any special instructions relating to permitting.

South Florida Water Management District: The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) is closely monitoring Tropical Storm Idalia and is preparing the regional water management system for potential heavy rainfall.

Much of Central and South Florida has an interconnected water management system, and flood control is often a shared responsibility between various agencies and communities including the SFWMD. SFWMD is strongly encouraging all local governments and local drainage operators like homeowner associations (HOAs) to prepare their stormwater systems.

Gulf Search and Rescue: GulfSAR is continuously monitoring weather conditions and the projected path of Tropical Storm Idalia.

Current forecast models have Tropical Storm Idalia strengthening as it crosses the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and rapidly developing into what is projected to be MAJOR Hurricane status as it approaches Florida’s Western Coast.

With projected rainfalls and life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic flooding could and likely will occur. Hurricane force winds are expected as early as Tuesday along Florida’s West Coast and Panhandle.

GulfSAR is arriving in Florida today to assist the Eastern Gulf Coast with evacuations and to stage for immediate flood and swiftwater rescues as Idalia’s impacts are felt.

COLLIER: The sand and sandbag operation continues tonight until 7 p.m., and will reopen tomorrow, Tuesday, August 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sand and sandbags will be available at North Collier Regional Park Softball Complex, 15000 Livingston Road, Naples, FL 34109. For those interested in making sandbags, there is a limit of 10 bags per person, and supplies are limited. Please bring your own shovel and/or trowel to fill the bags.

When properly filled and placed, sandbags may divert water around instead of through buildings. Sandbag construction does not guarantee a water-tight seal but is satisfactory for use in most situations. Burlap sacks and plastic sandbags (polypropylene) are standard types of use. Garbage bags are not recommended since they are too slick to stack.

For more information, call the Road, Bridge & Stormwater Maintenance Division at (239) 252-8924.

SARASOTA: Sandbag operations will take place from 2-7 p.m. today, Aug. 28, and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 29. Locations for both days follows:

VENICE: Sand is available on a first-come, first-served basis at Wellfield Park, 1400 Lucaya Ave., Venice. Bags can be picked up at the Public Works building, 1350 Ridgewood Ave., City Hall, 401 W. Venice Ave., or bring your own bag. This is self-service, shovels will be provided. Limit 10 bags per household.

Highlands County: Starting at 11:30 a.m. today (8/28), sand for sandbags will be available at South George Boulevard just north of the Emergency Operations Center (6850 W. George Blvd., Sebring). Bring a shovel and a partner to help if needed. This will be the only location with sand as of now. Sandbags are unavailable for distribution; they are available at Home Depot and Lowes, and other local hardware stores.

The City of Punta Gorda: Self-fill bags and sand are available at Hounds on Henry for City of Punta Gorda residents. Limit of 8 bags per vehicle and please bring your own shovel. Please note that sanitation will not pick up bags after the storm and bags are not to be dumped in the canals.

Sand and Sandbags Available at North Collier Regional Park Softball Complex: As of Monday, August 28, sand and sandbags are available from 2 to 7 p.m. at North Collier Regional Park Softball Complex, 15000 Livingston Road, Naples, FL 34109. For those interested in making sandbags, there is a limit of 10 bags per person, and supplies are limited. Please bring your own shovel and/or trowel to fill the bags.

When properly filled and placed, sandbags may divert water around instead of through buildings. Sandbag construction does not guarantee a water-tight seal but is satisfactory for use in most situations. Burlap sacks and plastic sandbags (polypropylene) are standard types of use. Garbage bags are not recommended since they are too slick to stack.

The sandbag service will be available today until 7 p.m., supplies and weather permitting.

For more information, call the Road, Bridge & Stormwater Maintenance Division at (239) 252-8924.

President Biden spoke to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Monday morning and told him that he quickly approved the Emergency Declaration for Florida as they prepare for Idalia. FEMA’s National Response Coordination Center has also been fully activated to support any requests for federal assistance. President Biden said Florida will have his full support as they prepare for Idalia and its aftermath.

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