Florida is preparing for the possibility of a major hurricane as Tropical Depression 9 edges closer to the state, causing Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency for 24 counties.
Tropical Depression 9 developed early on Friday. Official forecasts expect it to turn into a Category 3 hurricane by next Wednesday, which could mean Floridians will be slammed by winds up to 130 mph.
The track of the Tropical Depression is very similar to that of Hurricane Charley, which ravaged Florida in 2004, killing 15 people and causing more than $16 billion in damage.
The Florida Keys and southern parts of the state are most likely to be in the crosshairs, though it is too early to tell where and when the storm will make landfall.
Tropical Depression 9, bottom right, is currently gaining intensity over the Caribbean and threatens to make landfall in Florida next week
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issues an emergency declaration for the storm and said ‘we encourage all…