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Lee County under weather-related state of emergency

By NATHAN MAYBERG - | Jun 13, 2024

Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for Lee County amid a flood watch issued by the National Weather Service. The flood watch is in effect for the county through 8 p.m. Thursday.

The National Weather Service is forecasting two to three inches of rain for the area on Thursday.

The state of emergency also extends to neighboring Collier County, as well as Broward County, Sarasota County and Miami-Dade County due to heavy rain and thunderstorms in the forecast.

In his statement declaring a state of emergency, DeSantis cited “widespread heavy rainfall with totals of 10 to 15 inches, and consequential flooding across portions of South Florida since June 11. Rain is expected to continue over the next several days though the intensity it is expected to ease up late Thursday.

The Florida Highway Patrol reported a fatal weather-related car accident Wednesday in Immokalee in Collier County where two people were killed and another two injured.

“Preliminary reports indicate that the rainfall and flooding has affected and may continue to impact the operational capability of critical infrastructure, including major interstates, state and county roadways, airports, schools, and other critical infrastructure throughout these counties,” DeSantis said. “Additional rounds of heavy rain and thunderstorms are forecasted for South Florida for the next several days which will further exacerbate ongoing flood conditions over already impacted and vulnerable metropolitan areas.”

The state of emergency orders the director of the Florida State Guard to activate the Florida State Guard and also allows for the National Guard to be activated as well.

The state of emergency directs all state agencies as necessary to implement the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Disaster Recovery Framework.

The state of emergency suspends the effect of any statute, rule, or order that would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay any mitigation, response, or recovery action necessary to cope with this emergency.