Officials: Make storm plans, vote early

Government officials issued some warnings and advice ahead of storms threatening the Sunshine State. 

The potential for heavy rains associated with Invest 99L starting Sunday and possibly lasting through Tuesday evening causes concern for everything from power outages to Tuesday's elections. 

Elections and Early Voting

Hillsborough County election officials said, although is was too early to predict if voters would be affected, contact has been made with the state and county's emergency management teams for contingency plans. 

LINK: Track the system on

The best way to ensure Tuesday's voting is not impacted is for citizens to vote early. There are 16 early voting sites open in Hillsborough County every day through Sunday, August 28. Sites are open 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. each day. Voters can check for locations of Early Vote sites and wait times at or call (813) 744-5900.

For information on voting early in other Bay Area counties, check the following links: 

Citrus County Early Voting
Hardee County Early Voting
Highlands County Early Voting
Manatee County Early Voting
Pasco County Early Voting
Pinellas County Early Voting
Polk County Early Voting
Sarasota County Early Voting

Statewide Storm Preparation

With some parts of Florida at risk for heavy rains between the evening of Thursday, August 25 and the evening of Tuesday, August 30, Governor Rick Scott also urged people to vote early and prepare their homes for any potential storm damage.

BLOG: Mike Bennett's latest breakdown of Invest 99L

Gov. Scott began talks with the Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) and the Florida Department of State (DOS) on potential storm impacts. FDEM was not ready Thursday to elevate the activation level of the State Emergency Operations Center, but was monitoring the situation closely. 

On Thursday evening, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) estimated Invest 99L it to have a 30-percent chance of cyclone formation between Thursday night and Saturday night, and a 60-percent chance of cyclone formation by Tuesday. The percentages, however, had changed within the last 24 hours and FOX 13’s Chief Meteorologist Paul Dellegatto said forecasting the storm, or lack thereof, would continue to change in the coming days.

The next name on the 2016 Atlantic Storm name list is Hermine (pronounced Er-meen).

For more information about preparing for natural disasters in Florida, visit