Hurricane Ian Forcing Evacuations in Florida
Hurricane Ian is barreling through the Gulf of Mexico at a Category 3 intensity after striking western Cuba early Tuesday morning. Landfall is expected on Florida’s west coast Wednesday afternoon, prompting evacuation orders and school closures across the southern half of the state. With the imminent threat of storm surge and catastrophic flooding, National Hurricane Center's Acting Director Jamie Rhome says homeowners in Florida are under a time crunch to make preparations or evacuate.
The peak storm surge could reach up to 12-feet and will occur when the hurricane makes landfall somewhere between Tampa and Fort Myers. Storm surge will also be possible in northeast Florida into coastal Georgia and South Carolina. Depending on the wind direction, the St. John’s River in northeast Florida may back up and flood. Power outages and structural damages are expected throughout western and southwestern Florida.