Los residents off the coast of the Gulf of Florida they emptied the supermarket shelves, boarded up the windows and fled to the shelters this Wednesday before the proximity of the hurricane Ianhitting the southern tip of the state hours before touching earth in USA.
Ian has grown to become a hurricane extremely dangerous of category 4said this Wednesday United States National Hurricane Center (CNH)adding later, however, that it is expected to weaken shortly after landfall.
In its latest update, the NHC put Ian’s location at about 130 kilometers southwest of Punta Gorda, Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 250 km/h.
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Ian hit Cuba Tuesday and knocked out power to the entire Caribbean island, and was expected to make landfall in Florida late Wednesday south of Tampa Bay, somewhere between Sarasota and Naples.
The Miami-based CNH warned that Ian It will also unleash heavy surf, life-threatening coastal flooding and more than 12 inches of rain in some areas, as authorities urged more than 2.5 million residents to evacuate their homes to higher ground.
The Florida coastal area most at risk from the hurricane is home to miles of sandy beaches, dozens of vacation hotels and numerous trailer parks, making it a favorite area for retirees and vacationers alike.
Men board up the doors and windows of a house in Key West. (Photo: Reuters)
Gov. Ron DeSantis warned late Tuesday night that evacuation will be difficult for those who wait much longer to flee because increased winds will soon force authorities to close highway bridges.
urgency and complacency
You have to get to higher ground, you have to get to structures that are safe,” DeSantis said.
He added that widespread power outages will leave millions of people without power when the storm hits.
The head of the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, Deanne Criswell, said she is concerned that too few Floridians are taking the threat seriously.
I worry about complacency,” Criswell said Tuesday.
We’re talking about impacts in a part of Florida that hasn’t seen a major direct hit in almost 100 years. There are also parts of Florida where there are a lot of new residents,” she warned.
And Ian hits the Tampa area, it would be the first hurricane to make landfall there since the 1921 Tarpon Springs storm.
It could also be one of the most expensive, with data modeling service Enki Research projecting storm-related damage to range from $38 billion to $60 billion.
A woman moves her belongings to a safe place in Miami. (Photo: Reuters)
To ease traffic congestion during evacuations, Florida authorities suspended toll collection on major highways in the center of the state and in the Tampa Bay area.
Schools serve as shelters
Nearly 60 Florida school districts canceled classes because of the hurricane, DeSantis said. More than 175 evacuation centers have opened across the state, he said, many of them school buildings converted into shelters.
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Commercial airlines reported the cancellation of more than 2,000 flights in the United States related to the storm and the international airports of St. Petersburg-Clearwater and Tampa closed Tuesday.
Walt Disney Co. announced it will close its Florida theme and water parks on Wednesday and Thursday, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League relocated to Miami, where they will practice this week before their game against Kansas City. Chiefs on Sunday.
The storm’s approach also disrupted the Gulf Coast energy industry, as personnel were evacuated from 14 production platforms, suspending about 11% of oil pumping in the region.
Drivers line up to fill up on gas in Port Charlotte. (Reuters)