Florida residents and tourists are warned to not be complacent as hurricane-in-a century Hurricane Ian’s 140 mph winds will affect all of Florida.
It is now believed that the powerful Category 3 storm made landfall in Cuba. However, it is now possible that it will be upgraded into Category 4. As it intensifies as it crosses the Gulf’s warm waters towards Florida.
Deanne Criswell spokeswoman for Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) at a White House briefing on Tuesday. She stated: “The storm surge will be significant, and 20 inches of rain can be added to that …..”
“Take this seriously and don’t underestimate the power of a storm.
“We’re talking about impacts in Florida that haven’t seen a significant direct impact in almost 100 years.”
More than 300,000 people have been evacuated from Tampa Bay on Florida’s west coast. However, the state will be affected to some extent. There are 2.5 million homes that will need to be evacuated.
Ian is headed towards the Florida Keys. This popular vacation destination is made up of many smaller islands that are less than one mile in width.
Joe Biden called three mayors in Florida to confirm that federal support is available to provide food, fuel, and shelter.
Fema personnel have already set up 29 emergency shelters. They were sent to the state Monday.
Hurricane Ian: “This is not a joke”
Florida emergency declared by Ian to strengthen
According to the US National Hurricane Centre, the storm struck Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province early Tuesday morning.
Daniel Brown, the senior specialist at the centre, stated that it was accompanied by “extreme hurricane force winds, as well as life-threatening storm surge, and heavy rainfall”.
There were 55 shelters set up by officials, who rushed in emergency personnel and took steps to protect the crops in Cuba’s main region for tobacco-growing.
Governor Ron DeSantis declared a state-of-emergency in Florida and asked residents to be prepared.
He warned of “broad effects throughout the state” as well as the risk of severe storm surges, heavy rainfalls, flash flooding and strong winds.
Flooding is expected for large parts of Florida’s peninsula by midweek. Heavy rainfall is possible for the southeast US later in the week.
Some parts of Florida have seen supermarket shelves empty and residents placing sandbags around the homes.
Tampa Bay was last in the path of a major storm 25 October 1921.
The National Hurricane Centre predicts storm surge in Tampa Bay, Florida and the surrounding waters between 5ft-10ft (1.5m-3m above normal tide conditions) because of Hurricane Ian.
“That’s quite a lot of rain. “That’s not going out of the water quickly,” Cathie Perrykins, Pinellas County emergency management director, said. She is also where Clearwater and St Petersburg are located.
This is not a joke. This is a life-threatening storm surge.
NASA was forced to shelter its Artemis 1 lunar launch, by the extreme weather. This is the third delay.
Due to the hurricane, BP and Chevron shut down their offshore oil platforms within the Gulf of Mexico.
British Embassy Washington DC advised Britons that they should “closely monitor international and local weather updates” and to follow advice from local authorities and/or their tour operator, including evacuation orders.
It said: “If your are in Florida, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands, and you need immediate help, please call +1 305 406400. You can call 020 7136 6400 if you are in the UK and have concerns about someone living in the USA.