(MIAMI, FLA) — Hurricane Ian emerged from the west coast of Cuba on Tuesday as a Category 3 storm and is expected to strengthen further as it nears the southwest coast of Florida.
A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for all of South Florida including Palm Beach and the Treasure Coast, and a Tornado Watch is in effect for Palm Beach, Lake Okeechobee, and the Treasure Coast.
As of 11:00 PM Tuesday, Ian is heading NNE at 10 MPH with maximum sustained winds of 120 MPH.
Current tracking indicates Ian will make landfall between Ft. Myers and Sarasota on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm.
The Gulf Coast can expect storm force winds and storm surge.
Heavy wind and rain can be expected across South Florida with early effects already being felt in Palm Beach County late Tuesday.
A state of emergency in in effect for Florida and residents of the west coast are being advised to evacuate east to Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties.
Along with declaring a state of emergency, the governor activated the National Guard and noted both state and federal governments are pledging help.
President Biden approved Florida’s emergency declaration and ordered federal assistance to supplement local response efforts. The action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts.
Hurricane Season Safety Tips
Know Your Risk: Find out how rain, wind, and water can impact where you live. Start preparing now.
Prepare for Strong Winds: Strong winds can bring down trees and power lines and turn unsecured objects into dangerous projectiles. Secure loose items such as outside lawn furniture and toys to minimize flying debris
Flash floods: Never drive through flooded roadways as roads may wash out under flood waters. Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars and cause loss of control or stalling. Just one or two feet of water can carry away a vehicle. Avoid walking through flooded areas.
Gather Supplies: Have enough food, water, and other supplies for every family member to last at least 72 hours. Consider your family’s unique needs, such as supplies for pets or seniors and prescription medications.
Make an Emergency Plan: Make sure everyone in your household knows and understands your hurricane plan. Complete a family communication plan.
Check your Insurance Coverage: Review your policy, ensure you’re adequately covered, and understand exclusions. Contact your agent for any changes.
Power outages: Do not use generators indoors. Do not touch downed electrical wires or power lines. Charge cell phone batteries and ensure flashlights and battery-operated radios and televisions are working.