Dixie County could go into “tropical storm warning” as soon as tonight

Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 5:49 PM EDT
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Tropical Storm Elsa is predicted to make landfall in North Central Florida later this week.

Governor DeSantis has declared a state of emergency in Alachua, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Marion, and Suwannee counties.

Mandy Lemmermen with Dixie County Emergency Services said they’re expecting a 40 to 50% chance of tropical storm force winds.

“Don’t try to drive on the streets. If they’re underwater we don’t want you to run into a canal or go anywhere you don’t know,” said Lemmermen.

She said flooding is the biggest worry right now, especially in the coastal areas of the county.

“A lot of our guys that are down there in camper trailers and stuff know to move up to higher ground. Most of our structures are elevated down there.”

Lemmerman said the county is on a tropical storm watch right now, but if the storm heads closer to the Gulf Coast the watch could turn into a warning.

Emergency shelters could be open as soon as the morning.

“If you are in a low laying area and need sandbags please come get them. We always say there’s a possibility to lose power,” said Lemmermen.

County officials will start passing out sandbags tomorrow morning for anyone who needs them.

They will be at the county yard on SE 33rd Ave. and SE 309th St.

Lemmermen said they are keeping an eye on the storm as it moves past Cuba. If it moves closer to the Gulf Coast, posing a greater threat, they’ll reassess where they’re at with emergency operations.

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