Carrying fierce winds and rain, Tropical Storm Debby continued to lash Florida on Monday, prompting Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency.
In a proclamation emailed to reporters, Scott said the storm threatens Florida with a major disaster and that its effects have already been felt in the state. The declaration means that the state can suspend some laws to deal with the emergency and that agencies can cooperate more easily with the federal government.
According to the declaration, Debby is about 90 miles south-southwest of Apalachicola, Fla. It's carrying winds of about 50 miles an hour.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the storm is moving very slowly, at less than 5 miles an hour. The heavy rains and slow movement are a deadly combination, making flooding in low-lying areas a likelihood.