STUART — Emergency operations officials across the Treasure Coast said Saturday they expect to have the best information about the path and strength of Tropical Storm Ian — and what local residents need to do about it — sometime Sunday.
After meteorologists Friday identified Ian as a tropical storm that potentially had Florida in its sights, emergency officials advised the public to monitor the situation. Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Saturday declaring a state of emergency for all 67 of Florida's counties.
As of Saturday, local officials were giving no call to action for residents, citing the uncertainty. Ian's track appeared to be shifting northwest, meteorologists said, and heading for a landfall somewhere on Florida's northwest coast.
Ian and the schools: Treasure Coast districts monitoring track of what could be Hurricane Ian
As of the 2 p.m. National Hurricane Center advisory, Ian was south of Jamaica, where there was a tropical storm watch in effect for the island nation. The storm was moving west at 16 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. A hurricane watch was in effect for the Cayman Islands.
"We're in a holding pattern," said Kathy Copeland, spokeswoman for Indian River County Emergency Management. "Monitoring is the best thing for now."
There are general tasks Copeland and other emergency management leaders advised, such as making sure gutters and storm drains are clear. "Those are things we should be doing during hurricane season anyhow," she said.
Otherwise, there was no direction given about evacuations, storm shelters, shuttering windows, or any talk about "hunkering down."
Big-box stores such as Walmart, Sam's and Home Depot appeared busy in the region Saturday morning, though they were well-stocked. Walmart in Sebastian had a limited supply of bottled water on the shelves by noon.
A few locations across the region were out of bottled water Friday and Saturday.
Ian is the first tropical storm since Isaias in August 2020 to pose a threat to the Treasure Coast and prompt preparation and worry. Emergency operations centers for the counties are using social media and news releases to update residents about the storm's path and potential impact.
Lamaur Stancil is the Treasure Coast regional economy reporter covering business and industries, including retail, tourism and hospitality. Contact him at 321-987-7179 or firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him at Lamaur Stancil on Facebook and @TCPalmLStancil on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on Treasure Coast Newspapers: Tropical Storm Ian: Treasure Coast officials monitor potential hurricane