Hurricane Ian latest: Category 3 storm makes landfall in Cuba

Central Florida stores struggle to keep water on shelves ahead of Tropical Storm Ian

Heavy rain and strong winds are lashing western Cuba after Hurricane Ian made landfall on Tuesday.

Earlier in the day Ian strengthened into a category 3 storm, before making landfall in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province.

According to the US National Hurricane Center, the island’s west coast could see as much as 14 feet (4.3 meters) of storm surge.

Authorities in Cuba have evacuated 50,000 people, set up at least 55 shelters and rushed in emergency personnel.

According to the National Hurricane Center Ian won’t linger over Cuba but will slow down over the Gulf of Mexico, growing wider and stronger, “which will have the potential to produce significant wind and storm surge impacts along the west coast of Florida”.

Meanwhile, mandatory evacuations are also underway in parts of Florida amid warnings of life-threatening conditions from the potentially category 4 storm in the coming days.

There is a risk of flash flooding, strong winds, storm surge of up to 10 feet, and possible isolated tornadoes along Florida’s Gulf Coast with impacts beginning up to 36 hours before the peak.

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Free Uber rides to shelters

Uber is offering free rides to hurricane shelters in Florida. The ride-sharing service says drivers will undertake free journeys to and from evacuation shelters in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, and Pasco County. More details below:

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Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Cuba

Hurricane Ian has made landfall in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province today.

The category 3 storm brought rain and winds to Cuba’s western tip as the US National Hurricane Center said that the island’s west coast could see as much as 14 feet (4.3 meters) of storm surge.

According to the centre, a major hurricane is defined as a Category 3 storm or higher, with maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph (178 km/h).

Hurricane Ian became a Category 3 hurricane earlier today.

“Cuba is expecting extreme hurricane-force winds, also life-threatening storm surge and heavy rainfall,” hurricane center senior specialist Daniel Brown told the Associated Press.

Satellite image released by NASA shows Hurricane Ian growing stronger as it barreled toward Cuba.

(PA)

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Schools in 24 counties shut, more closures to come says Governor DeSantis

Florida governor Ron DeSantis has said in an update on Twitter that schools in 24 counties in Florida have been shut as the state prepares for Hurricane Ian.

More schools are expected to be closed as the hurricane’s track becomes more clear.

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Nasa delays Artemis Moon mission

Nasa has suspended its plans to launch the Artemis I Moon mission rocket today as Hurricane Ian approaches Florida.

In a statement yesterday, NASA said that due to weather conditions teams will roll the Artemis rocket and the Orion spacecraft back to the back to the Vehicle Assembly Building.

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Florida braces for Hurricane Ian

Mandatory evacuations have been issued for millions of thousands of people as Hurricane Ian charts a path towards the west coast of Florida with severe winds, flash flooding, storm surge and possible tornadoes.

Some 300,000 people are being evacuated in Hillsborough county, which includes the city of Tampa, along with Manatee and Hernando counties.

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Hurricane Ian strengthens into category 3 storm

The National Hurricane Center said today that Ian has strengthened into a category 3 hurricane and is expected to make landfall over western Cuba.

The hurricane is about 35 miles (55km) south of the city of Pinar Del Rio Cuba, with maximum sustained winds of 115 miles per hour (185kmph), the NHC said.

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National Hurricane Center warns of ‘life threatening’ storm surges and flash floods

The National Hurricane Center has warned of life threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds, flash floods and possible mud slides in portions of western Cuba through today.

It has also said that there is a danger of life-threatening storm surge along much of the Florida west coast, with the highest risk from Fort Myers to the Tampa Bay region.

Heavy rainfall is expected to increase across the Florida Keys and South Florida on Tuesday, spreading into central and northern FLorida tomorrow and on Thursday and the southeast by Friday and Saturday.

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Rain and winds lashed Cuba’s western tip as Hurricane Ian gained strength. Authorities have evacuated 50,000 people, reported the Associated Press.

Officials in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province set up 55 shelters and rushed in emergency personnel.

Authorities have also taken measures to protect crops in Cuba’s main tobacco-growing region ahead of Ian’s expected landfall early today.

The US National Hurricane Center said the island’s west coast could see as much as 14 feet (4.3 meters) of storm surge.

“Cuba is expecting extreme hurricane-force winds, also life-threatening storm surge and heavy rainfall,” hurricane center senior specialist Daniel Brown said.

After passing Cuba, Ian is forecast to strengthen further over the Gulf of Mexico before reaching Florida as early tomorrow as a Category 4 storm with top winds of 140 mph (225 km/h).

View at the sea in Batabano, Mayabeque province, on September 26, 2022, ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Ian.

(AFP via Getty Images)

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Hurricane Ian: A historic storm

Hurricane Ian is historic for a number of reasons.

It’s rapid ascension from tropical storm to a likely Category 4 hurricane in a span of a few days is historic enough, a sign of our climate-changed times.

The hurricane also marks the first direct hurricane hit in Tampa and St Petersburg Florida since 1921.

“Please treat this storm seriously. It’s the real deal. This is not a drill,” Hillsborough County Emergency Management Director Timothy Dudley told residents of Tampa at a news conference on Monday.

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ICYMI: Long gas lines and panic buying as Hurricane Ian heads towards Florida

Floridians faced long lines at gas stations and empty shelves as residents prepared for the arrival of Hurricane Ian, a storm expected to reach Category 4 by the time it makes landfall in the Sunshine State later this week.

Lengthy tails were reported throughout the weekend in locations like Pasco Countynorth of Tampa, Tallahassee and Daytona Beach.

Alicia Socker of Lee County told WINK News she had encountered multiple “no gas” signs as she searched for fuel on Monday.

“No gas. Next gas station on the left, no gas next station in front of Publix, no gas,” she said, before eventually locating a Circle K station with supplies.

“If it was $8 a gallon, I would have gotten a couple right,” she added. “Seriously, when you need it, you need it.”

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