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Last Minute News TS Ana forms in Atlantic Ocean

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By Kellie Parkin

 National Hurricane Center in Miami announced early this morning the formation of the first named storm of the 2009 Atlantic Hurricane Season.

As of 11 a.m. Saturday, Tropical Storm Ana was moving west at 16 mph with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph. It was located approximately 920 miles east of the Leeward Islands, the chain of islands southeast of Puerto Rico, latitude 14.3 north and longitude 48.3 west.

The path of the NHC’s forecasted cone of uncertainty shows that TS Ana is expected to be near Puerto Rico Monday evening or Tuesday morning if current speed is maintained.

The five-day potential storm track includes the possibility of landfall in Cuba or the Bahamas on Wednesday, and Florida’s east coast Thursday. The cone of uncertainty shows TS Ana could also head up the Atlantic Coast, or into the Gulf of Mexico where it could potentially gather strength from the warmer water temperatures.

Currently forecasters do not expect TS Ana do develop into a hurricane, instead maintaining tropical storm strength winds (sustained 39-73 mph).

On the coattails of TS Ana, Tropical Depression Three formed mid-morning and is expected to a become tropical storm later today or Sunday, according to a pubic advisory issued by the National Hurricane Center. The current forecast of Tropical Depression Three shows a similar path of TS Ana, with the possibility of strengthening into a hurricane by late Tuesday or early  Wednesday. 

Levy County

Levy County Director of Emergency Management Mark Johnson said he received a call from the National Weather Service- Ruskin this morning to discuss TS Ana.

Johnson said he hopes complacency has not set in for the people of Levy County.

“At this point in the season people should be well into their preparations – disaster kits, evacuation plans,” Johnson said. “We’re all Floridians, and even though this hurricane season has been quiet from the El Nino – so was 1992 – and that’s when Andrew struck.”

“Statistically we’re very due,” Johnson said. “Complacency is a dangerous thing.”

For people new to the area, or for those who have yet to get prepared, Johnson advises them to visit the Web sites www.levydisaster.com and www.floridadisaster.org for more information.