Hurricane Ian It became a Category 3 storm early Tuesday morning and will strengthen as it nears Florida, National Hurricane Center forecasters say.
Ian The landslide hit western Cuba southwest of the city of La Coloma in Pinar del Rio province around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph, U.S. officials said.
The country’s electricity service said the entire island was without power on Tuesday evening due to infrastructure damage. Crews were working to restore power, which the agency said would begin overnight and Wednesday.
The hurricane was about 110 miles from Naples, Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph and moving northeast at 10 mph, according to an 11 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center.
In the evening, winds began to pick up in the Florida Keys, where gusts of 52 mph were recorded at the Florida Keys Marathon International Airport.
The latest news on Hurricane Ian
- Hurricane Ian made landfall in western Cuba early Tuesday morning as a major hurricane; In the evening, the entire island is without electricity.
- Traveling on Ian is likely to continue to strengthen Warm Gulf of Mexico Winds up to 130 miles per hour as it approaches Florida’s southwest coast.
- A tropical storm has reached the southern peninsula of Florida.
- About 2.5 million Florida residents are under some form of evacuation order.
- Ian will slow to 3 to 4 mph on or near Florida’s west coast Thursday and Friday, sustaining storm surge, wind and flash flooding impacts.
- Georgia’s governor has declared a state of emergency.
As Ian’s center continues to move across the Gulf, it could strengthen into a Category 4 hurricane, NBC News forecasters said.
Ian will intensify today into Wednesday as a “very dangerous major hurricane” as it approaches Florida’s west coast on Wednesday. National Hurricane Center.
Models show the storm making landfall somewhere between Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor. The system is forecast to slow down by 3 to 4 mph, extending the effects of heavy rain, strong winds and storm surge.
A hurricane is likely to hit the Florida peninsula for the next three days.
The storm could also hit Florida’s east coast, where a warning has been issued along the coast of Georgia from Marineland to the St. Mary’s River. Hurricane Center.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis declared a statewide emergency, saying Ian could bring several feet of storm surge. A 12-foot storm surge is possible in Charlotte Harbor and 7 feet in the Tampa Bay area, forecasters say.
“What we have is really historic storm surge and potential flooding,” he said at a news conference Tuesday morning. “That storm surge was deadly.”
DeSantis encouraged residents to heed evacuation orders from Pinellas County to the Fort Myers area. About 2.5 million residents are under some form of evacuation order, he said.
Parts of the state could be without power for anywhere from three days to a week, Florida Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said at a news conference.
Georgia and South Carolina could also get some influence from Ian.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency for all counties on Tuesday, beginning at 7 a.m. Thursday and ending at midnight Friday.
As the storm headed toward Florida, oil companies evacuated workers from deepwater platforms and airports in the Gulf of Mexico. Tampa, Orlando And Pinellas County in Florida announced Tuesday and Wednesday closures. American Airlines Announced travel exemptions For people flying into or out of 20 airports in Florida and the Caribbean.
Residents of Florida’s Gulf Coast Their windows were made of sandbags and plywood to store food supplies. Hundreds of thousands of people were under evacuation orders.
“This storm will slow down, meaning it will sit over us for 47 hours,” said Kathy Perkins, director of Pinellas County Emergency Management. Tampa’s NBC affiliate WFLA reported.
“That’s a lot of rain and it can’t go away quickly,” he said.
Steve McClure, 54, went to his parents’ home in a nearby county.
“I’d rather be safe than sorry, especially since the hurricane’s path is constantly changing,” McClure said.
Diane J. Hampton Contributed.