MIAMI – Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency in 42 Florida counties on Wednesday.
State authorities were preparing for Tropical Depression Nine. The National Hurricane Center expects the system to become a Tropical Storm and affect Florida starting Thursday.
"It is crucial that every Floridian has a plan in place to ensure their families, homes and businesses are fully prepared," Scott said in a statement.
Scott added that by declaring a state of emergency he was ensuring that state, regional and local agencies "an work together to meet the needs of our communities."
A hurricane watch and a tropical storm watch have been issued for a portion of the northwest Gulf Coast of Florida.