Hurricane Ian continued to bear down on Florida’s Gulf Coast on Tuesday as an “extraordinarily harmful main hurricane” after it knocked out energy to all of Cuba, officers stated.
The Class 3 hurricane was transferring northeast Tuesday night time at 10 mph over the Gulf of Mexico and is anticipated to move west of the Florida Keys earlier than it slams right into a stretch of shoreline between Naples and Tampa on Wednesday, the Nationwide Hurricane Heart stated.
Gov. Ron DeSantis advised reporters late Tuesday that the most recent forecast observe appeared to point out the storm making landfall at Charlotte and Lee counties, south of Tampa.
The storm, which had sustained winds of 120 mph and a projected storm surge of as much as 12 ft in some areas, was forecast to strengthen in a single day, the Nationwide Hurricane Heart stated.
Storm surge flooding was already occurring early Wednesday throughout the decrease Florida Keys, the middle stated.
Greater than 2 million folks alongside Florida’s Gulf Coast had been beneath evacuation orders, DeSantis stated.
He urged individuals who hadn’t left already to take action instantly and warned of the havoc the slow-moving storm may unleash throughout the state.
“When it really reaches landfall, it’s going to sluggish to a trickle,” DeSantis stated. “That’s going to dump an infinite quantity of rain on the state of Florida.”
Rain totals of 6 to eight inches had been forecast for a lot of the Florida Keys and South Florida. A foot to 18 inches was anticipated for the central and northeastern elements of the state, the hurricane middle stated.
DeSantis warned of doable tornadoes that had been noticed on radar and stated bridges had been more likely to be closed Wednesday.
Hundreds of individuals within the southern a part of the state had already misplaced energy Tuesday night time — a quantity DeSantis stated would rapidly rise into the hundreds of thousands by Wednesday.
The newest on Hurricane Ian
- The Class 3 storm was 95 miles from Naples, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, early Wednesday.
- Ian knocked out energy to all of Cuba after making landfall Tuesday
- Tropical storm-force winds have reached Florida’s southern peninsula.
- About 2.5 million residents are beneath some kind of evacuation order in Florida.
- Ian was producing storm surge flooding early Wednesday throughout the decrease Florida Keys.
In Cuba, the place Ian made landfall early Tuesday within the western province of Pinar del Río, all the island of 11.3 million folks was with out energy after the storm broken its energy grid, the nation’s nationwide electrical service stated Tuesday.
The company stated it anticipated energy to be restored Tuesday night time and Wednesday morning.
Reuters reported that violent wind gusts shattered home windows and ripped metallic roofs off outdated houses and buildings.
Roads into the areas instantly hit by the hurricane remained impassable, blocked by downed bushes and energy traces, Reuters reported.
Hirochi Robaina, the proprietor of a cigar manufacturing facility in Pinar del Río, posted almost two dozen images Tuesday on Fb exhibiting the wreckage the storm left behind.
“It was apocalyptic,” he stated. “An actual catastrophe.”
Michelle Acevedo and Carmen Gonzalez contributed.