Florida residents were encouraged on Monday to move electric vehicles away from areas “that may be affected by storm surge” ahead of Tropical Storm Idalia.
“We’ve seen multiple fires related to electric vehicles [electric vehicles] From Hurricane Ian. We know that salt water from storm surges can damage these batteries, causing fires that are difficult to extinguish. The best the fire brigade can do is keep water on the battery until the fuel burns out. If you’re evacuating and leaving your electric vehicle or other lithium-ion powered equipment, such as a scooter or golf cart, in the garage, you’re creating a real fire threat to your home, your community and first responders,” said Florida Chief Treasurer (Chief Financial Officer) and State Fire Chief Jimmy Patronis said in a news release.
He added: “Take this threat seriously. If your EV is at low risk of being impacted by storm surge, move it to higher ground before it’s too late.”
The warning to residents comes ahead of Hurricane Idalia, which is expected to make landfall in parts of Florida in the coming days. The National Weather Service (NWS) in Tampa Bay said Idalia was expected to upgrade to a hurricane later Monday.
“There is a risk of life-threatening storm surge flooding for parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast where storm surge warnings are in effect, including Tampa Bay and the Greater Bend, Florida area. Flooding is expected to reach 7 to 11 feet above ground level. Somewhere between the Sahovitska and Oxilla Rivers,” Tampa Bay’s National Weather Service wrote in an update to the National Hurricane Center (NHC) website.
The report continued: “Hurricane conditions are expected for parts of the Florida Gulf Coast within the hurricane warning area, with Idalia’s core likely to move inshore, producing damaging winds. Strong winds are also expected to spread into northern Florida near the Portions of the Hurricane’s Track.” Center of Idalia. “
Christina Pushaw, director of rapid response for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, shared Patronis’ announcement on X (formerly Twitter), and write“Very important announcement… Electric vehicle fires took a long time to extinguish last year during Hurricane Ian.”
DeSantis announced Sunday that the Florida National Guard was mobilizing to help residents and warned of possible power outages.
“Especially if this storm ends up in the Tallahassee area, a lot of trees are going to be blown down, power lines are going to be blown down. It’s definitely going to happen, so be prepared, be prepared.” Can do Something you need to do,” the governor said at a news conference.
Following Category 5 Storm Ian, which hit the state last September, Patronis told ABC News that flooding events triggered by Ian led to at least nine electric vehicle fires.
Weekly newspaper The Florida Office of the Chief Financial Officer was reached by email for further comment.