Florida residents have been instructed to prepare for a “life-threatening storm surge” when Hurricane Ian hit the state on Wednesday.
Ian, upgraded to a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph, made landfall in southern Cuba in response to the National Hurricane Heart (NHC).
The Category 3 hurricane, with winds between 111 and 129 mph, was assessed by the NHC as a “huge” storm with “devastating damage” expected.
Those living in central and western Florida should rely on “tropical storm conditions” that began Tuesday night, followed by “hurricane strong winds” Wednesday morning as Ian continued to extend, the NHC said.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Florida, with 5,000 National Guard soldiers called to assist emergency responders.
President Joe Biden issued an emergency declaration to Florida ahead of the hurricane and arranged for assistance from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Corporation.
In its latest key summary released Monday at 11 p.m. ET, the NHC said: “Life-threatening storm surge threats exist for many locations on the Florida west coast, where storm surge warnings have been issued, from Fort Myers to Tampa. the greatest danger to the region.” b.
“Starting Wednesday morning, hurricane-driven winds are expected within the hurricane warning area for central and western Florida, with tropical storm conditions expected through late Tuesday.
“Heavy rains will intensify in the Florida Keys and southern Florida on Tuesday, spreading to central and northern Florida on Wednesday and Thursday, and the southeast Friday and Saturday, which will undoubtedly cause flooding in cities and small rivers.
“There may be significant flooding in central Florida, as well as significant extended river flooding.”
On Monday, Gov. DeSantis said Ian was a “very large hurricane of this magnitude” and warned it could bring “harmful storm surge, heavy rain, flash flooding, strong winds, harmful oceans and long-range tornado maneuvers” “.
If Ian hits Tampa Bay as a Category 3 hurricane as predicted, it will be the major major hurricane to hit the world since 1921.
“We tell individuals that even if they’re a lifelong Floridian like me, we’ve never seen this in our lives,” Rick Davis, a Florida meteorologist with the National Climate Service, told CNN. Circumstances. So we absolutely have to. Take this seriously.”
Many counties in the Tampa Bay area have issued evacuation orders covering parts of Hillsboro, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota counties.
“Throughout a hurricane, the most significant human fatality event is a storm surge—a water dome pushed ashore by a strong hurricane,” the Florida Emergency Management Agency warned. Entire structures could be moved and trigger events larger than the hurricane itself. s damage. Florida’s coastal and low-lying geography makes it extremely vulnerable to flooding.
“To prevent yourself from flooding, if you are staying where you have been ordered to evacuate, go outdoors. One of the easiest ways to prepare for a hurricane-type storm surge is to know your evacuation zone and plan ahead where you will be vacationing. and travel itineraries.”
Tampa Bay Space ZooTampa said it could close on Tuesday to move high-risk animals to a special reserve.
Thousands of people have lost energy as Hurricane Fiona devastated Puerto Rico and made landfall in Japan’s Canada on Saturday before heading north.
Hurricane Ian track tracker as Florida storm intensifies rapidly