Hurricane Ian Reaches Nearly Category 5 Status as Florida Braces for Impact


Hurricane Ian reached speeds of 155 mph, just short of Category 5 status as it moved towards Florida’s Gulf Coast.

Residents are preparing for Ian’s full effect by preparing for high winds and heavy rain in the region from Naples to Sarasota.

More than 2 million Floridians were in danger of being evacuated by Monday morning. The number climbed to 2.5 million later that day as officials in Florida expanded the area on the basis of updated projections.

On Tuesday morning Governor Ron DeSantis (R.FL) stated that it was unsafe for some people in certain regions to flee.

“If you’re in one of these counties, it’s impossible to evacuate safely,” DeSantis stated, It was time to prepare for the storm and stay put. Do what is necessary to be safe. You are already in dangerous conditions if you are near the storm. It will get worse quickly. Please be patient.”

The focus of Hurricane Ian has shifted slightly overnight with St. Petersburg and Tampa now slightly south. According to the latest projections, Fort Myers and surrounding Lee County could be subject to a stronger storm surge.

Residents in the Lee County area are being forced to evacuate for their safety. However, authorities remain concerned that many residents have not left the area.

DeSantis declared Monday that 5,000 members of the Florida National Guard were activated. Additional 2,000 National Guard members were added to the alert from other states.

Schools in several counties were also closed along with airports at Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Key West. As a precaution, the Orlando area’s theme parks have been closed.

On Monday, the government announced that over 30,000 linemen had been set up and ready to restore power in advance of any outages or damage caused by Ian. DeSantis met Tuesday morning with linemen to discuss further details. The event was live-streamed.

The Florida Division of Emergency Management posted a Monday update confirming the coordination of resources. This includes trucks of food, water, generators, and pumps. Up to now, 160 truckloads (85 gallons of water and 75 gallons of MREs) have been prepared for deployment. Some of these supplies are already on their way to Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties. Preparation also includes 100,000 tarps that will protect homes and allow residents to remain at home, rather than living in shelters.

In preparation for Ian, the governor declared a state emergency in all 67 Florida counties. To help low-lying areas evacuate more quickly, the governor has temporarily suspended all tolls in Tampa Bay.

President Joe Biden also approved a Saturday emergency declaration for Florida in response to the increasing hurricane threat.

A portion of South Carolina and Georgia could also be affected by flooding from heavy rains and winds later in this week. Governor Brian Kemp (R.GA) declared an emergency and placed National Guard troops on alert.


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