We are more than three months into Florida’s hurricane season and, so far, things have been quiet. While there has been some wild weather at the Walt Disney World Parks, the state has had to deal with nothing more than severe storms, and hurricanes have been non-existent. However, things are now changing, and several storms have formed recently, and one of them could be headed right for the Sunshine State.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Tropical Depression Nine is making its way through the Caribbean, and it is strengthening. The National Hurricane Center is reporting that Tropical Depression Nine is expected to form into Hurricane Ian — and they expect it to hit Florida as a Category 3 storm. The announcement prompted Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to issue a State of Emergency for 24 counties in the state.
The Orlando Sentinel reported more on the State of Emergency declaration:
Tropical Depression Nine formed in the Caribbean on Friday with a path that could bring it to Florida next week as a major Category 3 hurricane prompting Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency in 24 counties.
“This storm has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to make their preparations,” he said. “We are coordinating with all state and local government partners to track potential impacts of this storm.”
DeSantis also requested a federal emergency declaration ahead of landfall that would free up funding sources for emergency protective measures. The counties in the order are Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota and St. Lucie.
Not in the order are Orange, Lake, Seminole or Volusia.
It should be noted that Walt Disney World Resort lies in both Orange and Osceola counties. So, based on what counties are a part of the State of Emergency, it appears that Disney World could be on the outskirts of the worst parts of the storm.
If you are at Disney World when a hurricane hits, Disney has plenty of procedures in place to keep you safe. Outdoor rides — like Test Track, Slinky Dog Dash, and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train — will shut down until the weather clears up. If things get bad, Disney will shut the Parks down and keep Guests inside their hotels until things are safe, and they can open back up.
Disney Dining will let readers know the most up-to-date information as the storm progresses and its path is updated.