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Saturday, May 27, 2023

Florida on alert as system intensifies

Tropical Storm Ian intensified Sunday night, with hurricane strength rapidly approaching as it approaches Cuba, the Gulf of Mexico, and eventually the Gulf Coast Florida coast. A tropical storm warning has been issued for the Florida Keys, as has a storm warning for the state’s southwest coast.

The National Hurricane Center said late Sunday that Ian accelerated from 45 mph to 65 mph in just three hours in sustained winds. A subsequent replacement at 2 a.m. ET Monday could elevate Hurricane Ian to a Category 1 storm status as it continues to move through the hot water in the Caribbean.

The latest cone path has Storm Touchdown along the state’s west coast in Florida, northern Tampa and St. Petersburg.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has placed a state of emergency in 24 counties but extended it statewide.

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