Residents should be wary of tornadoes, flooding and storm surges as fast-moving Tropical Storm Andrea passes through Florida but the most severe weather should be over by midnight, Gov. Rick Scott said during a press conference Thursday at the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
"We've talked to all the local emergency management teams and they're ready," Scott said. "The biggest ssue we have is we're under tornado warnings. We had eight tornadoes so far in the state." He said there have not been any reports of deaths or property damage caused by the storm.
FDEM Director Bryan W. Koon said that "tornadoes are popping up all over the place basically so it depends where they go." If the tornadoes hit a populated area, "this whole thing could be completely different," he said. So far tornadoes have been reparted in Hillsborough, Manatee, Broward, Palm Beach and Pinellas counties, Koon said.
The storm will bring "quite a bit of rain," Scott said, but "fortunately it's not going to be the same rain we had with Debby last year because it's a fast-moving storm," moving about 15 miles per hour. Florida's west coast is expected to experience three to five feet of storm surges moving toward Cedar Key.
As of 2 p.m., Andrea was about 35 miles west-southwest of Cedar Key, according to the National Weather Service, moving toward the Northeast about 17 miles per hour. Winds are reported at 60 miles per hour.
While the governor urged caution for the public, telling residents to get three days of water and food, he had brighter news for tourists. "Keep your travel plans, This is going to pass very quickly through our state.
Scott also used the press conference to take a shot at "President Obama's sequestration efforts."