Flordia Politics by Staff Reports
June 1, 2019
Saturday marks the beginning of June.
Or, as Floridians know it, the start to the annual hurricane season.
Looming in the backdrop this time: Hurricane Michael, the Category 5 storm that swept through Northwest Florida last year for which Congress has yet to pass disaster spending.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is predicting a 40 percent chance of near-normal cyclone activity during the Atlantic season, which ends Nov. 30. But there’s a 30 percent chance for both above-average and below-average seasons.
Overall, NOAA predicts somewhere from nine to 15 named storms to form this season, with only two to four “major hurricanes” (Category 3 to 5 storms) popping up.
We’ll leave it up to the forecasters to determine whether that’s reassuring news or not.
Meantime, Florida officials are encouraging residents to take advantage of a weeklong disaster preparedness sales-tax break passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis this year.
The tax holiday, which began Friday, allows Floridians to purchase items like tarps, portable generators, water, batteries and flashlights without paying sales tax. That break is expected to save taxpayers $5.5 million.