DORAL, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez and other officials attended a Monday afternoon news conference at the Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center in Doral.
Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad F. Wolf hosted the news conference at 1:45 p.m. to discuss DHS’s operational readiness for the hurricane season.
“The work being done at the National Hurricane Center is critical in aiding the department’s efforts to protect our homeland,” Wolf said. “The fact that they have continued operations in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic is a testament to their dedication and work ethic.”
Wolf, who toured the National Hurricane Center on Monday with other officials, said dealing with the coronavirus pandemic has given officials a running start to preparing for hurricane season.
“DHS and its partners are ready to respond to the already historic 2020 hurricane season,” he said. “In addition to NOAA, DHS in addition with FEMA, operates the National Hurricane Program, conducting training, outreach and planning for our state, local, tribal and territorial partners.”
The news conference came hours after Tropical Storm Cristobal weakened into a depression early Monday after inundating coastal Louisiana and ginning up dangerous weather along most of the U.S. Gulf Coast, sending waves crashing over Mississippi beaches, swamping parts of an Alabama island town and spawning a tornado in Orlando.
Authorities say the tornado that struck the Orlando area toppled trees and damaged buildings but did not cause any deaths or injuries.
The National Weather Service said the twister had winds of at least 100 mph.
The tornado started as a water spout on Lake Conway Saturday night and was on the ground for about 12 minutes in an area southeast of downtown Orlando. The majority of the damage was caused by trees that fell onto homes.
The tornado came from a series of storms that buffeted Florida as Tropical Storm Cristobal moved through the Gulf of Mexico.