President Joe Biden approves Florida’s emergency declaration

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden on Wednesday morning approved Florida’s emergency declaration ahead of Tropical Storm Nicole, ordering federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts.

The move comes after Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency Monday for 34 of Florida’s counties.

TRACKING THE TROPICS: Hurricane Center | Hurricane Guide

The president’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.

This also allows the federal government to provide appropriate assistance to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety.

Biden approval affects the following 45 of Florida’s 67 counties:

  • Alachua
  • Bradford
  • Brevard
  • Broward
  • Charlotte
  • Citrus
  • Clay
  • Collier
  • Desoto
  • Dixie
  • Duval
  • Flagler
  • Gilchrist
  • Glades
  • Hardee
  • Hendry
  • Hernando
  • Highlands
  • Hillsborough
  • Indian River
  • Jefferson
  • Lake
  • Lee
  • Levy
  • Manatee
  • Marion
  • Martin
  • Miami-Dade
  • Nassau
  • Okeechobee
  • Orange
  • Osceola
  • Palm Beach
  • Pasco
  • Pinellas
  • Polk
  • Putnam
  • Sarasota
  • Seminole
  • St. Johns
  • St. Lucie
  • Sumter
  • Taylor
  • Volusia
  • Wakulla
  • Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida
  • Seminole Tribe of Florida

A news release from the White House said that FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.

At 1 a.m. Wednesday, Tropical Storm Nicole has maximum sustained winds of 70 mph and is moving west, southwest at 11 mph. The storm is now near hurricane strength as it heads toward the northwest Bahamas and takes aim at Florida.

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