Florida braces for Hurricane Ian as it intensifies in Gulf of Mexico

Hurricane Ian continues to churn toward Florida Tuesday evening over warm Gulf waters amid expectations it would strengthen into a catastrophic Category 4 storm. Here’s the latest on Hurricane Ian:As of 8 pm ET, Ian is a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph and is moving north-northeast at 10 mph, according to the National Hurricane CenterAs of 8 pm ET, Hurricane Ian is about 180 miles south of Punta Gorda, FloridaLife-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and flooding are expected with Ian in the Florida peninsula, according to the NHC An estimated 2.5 million people are under evacuation orders in FloridaHurricane Ian knocked out Cuba’s power grid and work is underway to restore service to the country’s 11 million people between Tuesday night and Wednesday morningThere were no reports of deaths in CubaWatch live video coverage above from sister station WESH in OrlandoTracking Ian: The latest cone, models and satellite LATEST CONELATEST MODELSLATEST SATELLITECuba without electricity after storm hits power gridHurricane Ian knocked out power across all of Cuba and devastated some of the country’s most important toba cco farms when it slammed into the island’s western tip as a major hurricane. Cuba’s Electric Union said work is being done to gradually restore service to the country’s 11 million people between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning. Ian made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane early Tuesday. It devastated Pinar del Río province, where much of the tobacco used to make Cuba’s iconic cigars is grown. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated ahead of the arrival of Ian. Authorities are still assessing the damage, although no fatalities have been reported.Video below: Hurricane Ian powers into western CubaFlorida braces for Ian Ian was expected to get even stronger over the warm Gulf of Mexico, reaching top winds of 130 mph as it approaches the southwest coast of Florida, where 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate. Tropical storm-force winds were expected across the southern peninsula late Tuesday, reaching hurricane-force Wednesday — when the hurricane’s eye was predicted to make landfall. With tropical storm-force winds extending 140 miles from Ian’s center, damage was expected across a wide area of ​​Florida. Forecasters said the storm surge could reach 12 feet if it peaks at high tide. Rainfall near the area of ​​landfall could top 18 inches. Video below: Key West rain Tuesday morning from Hurricane Ian It was not yet clear precisely where Ian would crash ashore. Its exact track could determine how severe the storm surge is for Tampa Bay, said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy. Landfall south of the bay could make the impact “much less bad,” McNoldy said.Forecasters warned the hurricane will be felt across a large area as it plows across Florida with an anticipated turn northward. Flash floods were possible across the whole state, and portions of its east coast faced a potential storm surge threat as Ian’s bands approach the Atlantic ocean. Parts of Georgia and South Carolina also could see flooding rains into the weekend. Preparations in FloridaFlorida Gov. Ron DeSantis urged people to prepare for extended power outages, and to get out of the storm’s potential path. “It is a big storm, it is going to kick up a lot of water as it comes in,” DeSantis told a news conference in Sarasota, a coastal city of 57,000 that could be hit. “And you’re going to end up with really significant storm surges and you’re going to end up with really significant flood events. And this is the kind of storm surge that is life-threatening.” Video below: Gov. DeSantis discusses Hurricane Ian preparationTo prepare, hundreds of residents were being evacuated from several nursing homes in the Tampa area, where hospitals were also moving some patients. Airports in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Key West closed. Walt Disney World announced on Tuesday evening that the parks would be closing due to Hurricane Ian. The parks will be closed on Wednesday and Thursday.Universal Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay also announced they will close on Wednesday and Thursday. NASA rolled its moon rocket from the launch pad to its Kennedy Space Center hangar, adding weeks of delay to the test flight. Video below: Space station flies over Hurricane Ian President Biden declares emergency At the White House, President Joe Biden said his administration was sending hundreds of Federal Emergency Management Agency employees to Florida and sought to assure mayors in the storm’s path that Washington will meet their needs . He urged residents to heed to local officials’ orders.“Your safety is more important than anything,” he said.Video below: Hurricane Ian FEMA announcement at White House press briefingBiden previously declared an emergency, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief and provide assistance to protect lives and property. FEMA has strategically positioned generators, millions of meals and millions of liters of water, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

Hurricane Ian continues to churn toward Florida Tuesday evening over warm Gulf waters amid expectations it would strengthen into a catastrophic Category 4 storm.


Here’s the latest on Hurricane Ian:

  • As of 8 pm ET, Ian is a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph and is moving north-northeast at 10 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center
  • As of 8 pm ET, Hurricane Ian is about 180 miles south of Punta Gorda, Florida
  • Life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and flooding are expected with Ian in the Florida peninsula, according to the NHC
  • An estimated 2.5 million people are under evacuation orders in Florida
  • Hurricane Ian knocked out Cuba’s power grid and work is underway to restore service to the country’s 11 million people between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning
  • There were no reports of deaths in Cuba

Watch live video coverage above from sister station WESH in Orlando

Tracking Ian: The latest cone, models and satellite

LATEST CONE

LATEST MODELS

LATEST SATELLITE

Cuba without electricity after storm hits power grid

Hurricane Ian knocked out power across all of Cuba and devastated some of the country’s most important tobacco farms when it slammed into the island’s western tip as a major hurricane.

Cuba’s Electric Union said work is being done to gradually restore service to the country’s 11 million people between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Ian made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane early Tuesday. It devastated Pinar del Río province, where much of the tobacco used to make Cuba’s iconic cigars is grown. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated ahead of the arrival of Ian. Authorities are still assessing the damage, although no fatalities have been reported.

Video below: Hurricane Ian powers into western Cuba

Florida braces for Ian

Ian was expected to get even stronger over the warm Gulf of Mexico, reaching top winds of 130 mph as it approaches the southwest coast of Florida, where 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate.

Tropical storm-force winds were expected across the southern peninsula late Tuesday, reaching hurricane-force Wednesday — when the hurricane’s eye was predicted to make landfall. With tropical storm-force winds extending 140 miles from Ian’s center, damage was expected across a wide area of ​​Florida.

Forecasters said the storm surge could reach 12 feet if it peaks at high tide. Rainfall near the area of ​​landfall could top 18 inches.

Video below: Key West rain Tuesday morning from Hurricane Ian

It was not yet clear precisely where Ian would crash ashore. Its exact track could determine how severe the storm surge is for Tampa Bay, said University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy. Landfall south of the bay could make the impact “much less bad,” McNoldy said.

Forecasters warned the hurricane will be felt across a large area as it plows across Florida with an anticipated turn northward. Flash floods were possible across the whole state, and portions of its east coast faced a potential storm surge threat as Ian’s bands approach the Atlantic ocean. Parts of Georgia and South Carolina also could see flooding rains into the weekend.

Preparations in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis urged people to prepare for extended power outages, and to get out of the storm’s potential path.

“It is a big storm, it is going to kick up a lot of water as it comes in,” DeSantis told a news conference in Sarasota, a coastal city of 57,000 that could be hit. “And you’re going to end up with really significant storm surges and you’re going to end up with really significant flood events. And this is the kind of storm surge that is life-threatening.”

Video below: Gov. DeSantis discusses Hurricane Ian preparation

To prepare, hundreds of residents were being evacuated from several nursing homes in the Tampa area, where hospitals were also moving some patients.

Airports in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Key West closed.

Walt Disney World announced on Tuesday evening that the parks would be closing due to Hurricane Ian. The parks will be closed Wednesday and Thursday.

Universal Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay also announced they will close on Wednesday and Thursday.

Eastbound traffic crowds Interstate 4 as people evacuate in preparation for Hurricane Ian  x20;approaches the western side of the state, Tuesday, Sept. 27,  2022, in Lake Alfred, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack  x29;

Phelan M. Ebenhack

Eastbound traffic crowds Interstate 4 in Lake Alfred, Florida, as people evacuate in preparation for Hurricane Ian.

NASA rolled its moon rocket from the launch pad to its Kennedy Space Center hangar, adding weeks of delay to the test flight.

Video below: Space station flies over Hurricane Ian

President Biden declares emergency

At the White House, President Joe Biden said his administration was sending hundreds of Federal Emergency Management Agency employees to Florida and sought to assure mayors in the storm’s path that Washington will meet their needs. He urged residents to heed to local officials’ orders.

“Your safety is more important than anything,” he said.

Video below: Hurricane Ian FEMA announcement at White House press briefing

Biden previously declared an emergency, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief and provide assistance to protect lives and property. FEMA has strategically positioned generators, millions of meals and millions of liters of water, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

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