On Tuesday, Hurricane Ian grew to a Category 3 storm, and after making landfall in Cuba, is expected to cause significant damage and destruction in Florida as well.
The state is on high alert for the storm, which is expected to affect the southeastern United States this week.
It is expected that the storm will make landfall or heavy rainfall on either the Gulf Coast or the Panhandle of Florida on Thursday. However, the exact path and severity of the hurricane are yet unknown.
The storm is already causing widespread damage and is expected to continue doing so for a long time. The government of the United States has already declared a “state of emergency” for the state.
As well as The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has issued a warning to inhabitants of Cuba, the Florida Keys, and the Florida Peninsula, urging them to prepare for hurricanes in advance and pay close attention to any newly released forecasts.
NASA shared a satellite image and radar data, southwest of the town of La Coloma in the Pinar Del Rio Province of Cuba at 4:30 a.m., “the center said.
The maximum sustained winds of Hurricane Ian at the time it made landfall were reported to be about 125 miles per hour, making Ian a Category 3 hurricane.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Ian will become more powerful over the Gulf of Mexico, and thus “will have the potential to inflict substantial wind and storm surge impacts near the west coast of Florida.”
Governor Ron DeSantis said, “We are currently coordinating with the Department of Health and Human Services to provide safety for everyone in the state. A significant storm is expected to hit the state, which could potentially be a Category 4 hurricane, and the storm could make landfall in the state on Wednesday and could cause extensive damage. And at this point, we appeal to everyone to stay inside and be safe.
Experts say It was expected that there would be a rise of more than ten feet of ocean water and about ten inches of rainfall throughout the Tampa Bay area, which would be enough water to inundate coastal cities.
The threats posed by tropical storm-force winds are real in Florida. More than 15 million people live in the metropolitan areas of Orlando, Tallahassee, and Jacksonville, which are all at risk of being hit by the gusts. The winds can cause power outages and damage to homes.
The Tampa Bay area, located on the western edge of Florida, may experience a direct strike from a hurricane for the first time in the last 103 years. The NHC is warning citizens of the potential for intense winds and rain in the region.
More Updates: Tropical Storm Ian is Moving Towards to Florida
To provide food and water for the region, the Florida Division of Emergency Management has started building up a logistical staging facility in Polk County. This will allow them to quickly and easily provide these necessities to those in need. The staging facility is also meant to help with the distribution of food and water throughout the region, which will make it much easier for people to get what they need. The Florida Division of Emergency Management has prepared more than 350 containers of food and water for distribution to the affected areas.
As of Monday, all of the schools had confirmed that they would be closing, and more closures are likely to be announced during the week.
The storm is currently raging over Cuba, and it is still unknown how strong Ian will become. The storm will likely become more intense over the next few days. But the people who live throughout the state of Florida need to be prepared for the possibility of intense rainfall, brief floods, storm surge, localized tornadoes, and possibly powerful winds.