Hurricane Ian on track to hit Florida as major storm this week

Hurricane Ian on track to hit Florida as major storm this week

Hurricane Ian’s outer bands start to lash South Florida

Hurricane Ian’s outer bands start to lash South Florida

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Ian intensified into a major hurricane packing sustained winds of around 125 mph early Tuesday morning just before hitting western Cuba. As the powerful Category 3 storm passed over Cuba, it was expected to intensify as it headed for the warm waters of Gulf of Mexico. Florida’s west coast will be in its path later this week.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered Monday in low-lying areas surrounding Tampa Bay, and officials asked others in the area to voluntarily evacuate, knowing it could take some time to move hundreds of thousands of people out of Ian’s path.

Cuba’s national Institute of Meteorology and then the U.S. National Hurricane Center said the storm had made landfall early Tuesday morning.

“Ian is already over Cuban territory,” a meteorologist from the institute told the nation in a special broadcast on Cuban state television. “The coast of Pinar del Rio is the outer wall of the storm. “

NEXT Weather forecast for Monday 9/26/22 11PM

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Ian was forecast to become an even stronger Category 4 storm, with top winds of 140 mph, before striking Florida as early as Wednesday. Tampa and St. Petersburg were the most likely targets for a major hurricane’s first direct hit in a century. Florida Governor. Ron DeSantis advised.

“You’re still looking at really significant amount of rain, you’re looking at a lot of wind, you’re looking at a lot of storm surge, and so, yes, follow that track, but don’t think because that eye may or may not be in your area that you’re not going to see impacts,” DeSantis said during a Monday afternoon press conference. “You will see significant impacts. “

The governor said the state had suspended tolls around the Tampa Bay area and mobilized 5,000 National Guard troops, with another 2,000 on standby in neighboring states. More than 27,000 power restoration personnel were put on standby to help after the storm, DeSantis said.

Men board windows as they prepare for the arrival of Hurricane Ian in Indian Shores, 25 miles West of Tampa, Florida on September 26, 2022.


“Please treat this storm seriously. It’s the real thing. This is not a drill,” Hillsborough County Emergency Management Director Timothy Dudley said at a Monday news conference on storm preparations in Tampa, where some mandatory evacuations were ordered.

As many as 300,000 people may be evacuated from low-lying areas in Hillsborough County alone, Administrator Bonnie Wise said at a news conference. Schools and other locations were made available as shelters.

In Pinellas County, which includes St. Petersburg, officials issued evacuation orders that start taking effect Monday evening. Sheriff Bob Gualtieri stated that no one would be forced out, but that they would still be at risk.

“What it means is, we’re not going to come help you. Gualtieri stated that if you don’t do it you’re on your feet.” “For all practical purposes, get out. Right now. Everyone needs to evacuate.

The evacuation zone is all along Tampa Bay and the rivers that feed it, encompassing MacDill Air Force Base and well-known neighborhoods such as parts of Hyde Park, Davis Islands and Ybor City.

The eye of Hurricane Ian is seen churning toward western Cuba in a satellite image provided by the National Hurricane Center, taken at 2: 26 a.m. Eastern, September 27, 2022.

NOAA/National Weather Service

As of 4: 30 a.m. Eastern on Tuesday morning, Ian was moving north at 12 mph and was located only about 15 miles south of the city of Pinar del Rio, in western Cuba, according to the National Hurricane Center. Its maximum sustained winds had increased to 125 mph.

Authorities in Cuba were already evacuating some 50,000 people in Pinar del Rio province on Monday. According to state media, they had dispatched medical and emergency personnel as well as taken steps to protect food and other crops stored in warehouses.

“Cuba is expecting extreme hurricane-force winds, also life-threatening storm surge and heavy rainfall,” U.S. National Hurricane Center senior specialist Daniel Brown told The Associated Press.

The hurricane center predicted areas of Cuba’s western coast could see as much as 14 feet of storm surge Monday night or early Tuesday.

A mna helps pull small boats out of Havana Bay in Havana, Cuba, September 26, 2022, as western Cuba was expected to bear the brunt of Hurricane Ian.


In Havana, fishermen were taking their boats out of the water along the famous Malecon, the seaside boardwalk, and city workers were unclogging storm drains ahead of the expected rain.

In Havana’s El Fanguito, a poor neighborhood near the Almendares River, residents were packing up what they could to leave their homes, many of which show damage from previous storms.

“I hope we escape this one because it would be the end of us. We already have so little,” health worker Abel Rodrigues, 54, said.

In the Tampa Bay area, a storm surge of up to 10 feet of ocean water and 10 inches of rain, with as much as 15 inches in isolated areas. This is enough water to flood low-lying coastal areas. Residents of Florida were lining up in Tampa for hours to get sandbags, and clearing out the shelves of bottled water.

This graphic depicts the forecast storm surge inundation values, as of 11 p.m. Eastern, Sept. 26, 2022, representing the peak height the water could reach above normally dry ground somewhere within the specified areas when Hurricane Ian hits Florida.

NOAA/National Weather Service

Nervous anticipation led to long lines for gas, packed grocery stores and empty shelves, CBS News correspondent Omar Villafranca reports from Clearwater, Florida.

“We are going to get these sandbags in front of the garage, the garage door, the front door… and pray we’re good,” Gabriel Alley, who moved to Clearwater from California, told CBS News.

Ian’s impending arrival also prompted NASA to haul its Artemis 1 rocket off its launch pad and back to the protection of the agency’s Vehicle Assembly Building, likely ending any chance of launching the unpiloted moonshot before November.

Hurricane Ian strengthens as Florida begins evacuations

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“A lot of people on the Florida Peninsula and into the Florida Panhandle are at risk and need to be ready to take action quickly,” said Rick Knabb, a hurricane specialist with The Weather Channel, “and the slow motion that we expect from Ian means we could have wind, storm surge and rain-induced flooding. “

DeSantis has declared a state of emergency throughout Florida and urged residents to prepare for the storm to lash large swaths of the state with heavy rains, high winds and rising seas.

“We’re going to keep monitoring the track of this storm. It is vital to stress the uncertainty that still exists,” DeSantis stated at a Sunday news conference. He said that although you may not be right in the path of the storm’s path, there will be significant impacts across the state. “

Hurricane Ian is seen in a satellite image at 3 p.m. ET on Sept. 26, 2022.
Hurricane Ian is seen in a satellite image at 3 p.m. ET on Sept. 26, 2022.


Flash and urban flooding is possible in the Florida Keys and Florida Peninsula through midweek, and then heavy rainfall was possible for north Florida, the Florida Panhandle and the southeast United States later this week.

The hurricane center has advised Floridians to have hurricane plans in place and monitor updates of the storm’s evolving path.

President Biden also declared an emergency, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, to coordinate disaster relief and provide assistance to protect lives and property. Due to the storm, President Biden delayed a Tuesday trip to Florida.

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