Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for the entire state as Hurricane Ian approached Florida’s west coast.
On Monday morning, Ian was about 90 miles southwest of Grand Cayman and moving northwest at 13 mph. The National Hurricane Center predicts that it will intensify into a major hurricane by late Monday. There are hurricane warnings in place for both Cuba and Grand Cayman.
As it approaches Florida, it could reach Category 4 status, which means it has winds between 130 and 156 mph. On the west coast of Florida and along the Florida panhandle, as well as along the east coast of the Gulf of Mexico, Ian is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flash flooding along its path.
A portion of Florida’s west coast is under tropical storm and hurricane watches from the National Hurricane Center. It is possible that additional watches will be issued later today. There is a possibility that tropical storm form wins could arrive in the Keys as early as Tuesday morning before the storm tracks its way to the northeast.
Here are the 5 am Monday Key Messages for Hurricane #Ian. Latest information at https://t.co/tW4KeGdBFb pic.twitter.com/536aVhLwl5
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 26, 2022
State of emergency
Initially, DeSantis declared a state of emergency for a dozen counties on Friday but expanded it to include the entire state as Ian gained strength and tracked towards the state on Saturday.
In a statement, DeSantis urged Floridians to prepare for the storm, which has the potential to become a major hurricane. “We are coordinating with all state and local government partners to track potential impacts of this storm.”
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Storm preparations have been initiated by Florida’s National Guard.
As a result of the storm, President Joe Biden waived his trip to the state scheduled for Sept. 27 and declared an emergency.
As the storm approaches, DeSantis noted that evacuation orders may be issued. You can check disaster zones for evacuations here.
Many public schools, particularly in the Tampa area, are closed, including the University of Tampa and the University of South Florida. Daytona Beach’s Bethune-Cookman University announced a mandatory evacuation Monday.
The path of Tropical Storm Ian remains uncertain and could have impacts from the Keys to Northwest Florida. Floridians along the Gulf Coast should prepare now for the possibility of severe weather next week.⁰
Follow @FLSERT for the most up-to-date information about the storm. pic.twitter.com/XNmOf8PPwP
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 25, 2022
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What do you need in a hurricane disaster kit?
The contents of an emergency kit should include medications, flashlights, a weather radio, first aid supplies, and more.