The outer bands of Hurricane Ian are beginning to make landfall in South Florida

The outer bands of Hurricane Ian are beginning to make landfall in South Florida


Ian strengthened to a major hurricane with sustained winds of about 115 mph early Tuesday morning as it moved toward western Cuba. The storm was expected to continue to strengthen as it passed over Cuba on its way to the Gulf of Mexico, with the west coast of Florida later this week.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered Monday for low-lying areas around Tampa Bay, and officials asked others in the area to voluntarily evacuate, knowing it could take some time to move hundreds of thousands of people out of Ian’s path.

The Category 2 storm was forecast to strengthen into an even stronger Category 4 storm with maximum winds of 140 mph before making landfall in Florida as early as Wednesday. Tampa and St. Petersburg emerged as among the most likely targets for their first direct hit by a major hurricane in a century. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned that even if Ian doesn’t hit the area directly, it could still feel the effects of the storm.

“You’re still seeing a really significant amount of rain, you’re seeing a lot of wind, you’re seeing a lot of storm surge, so yeah, go that route, but don’t think that the Eye may or may not be in your area, and you’re not going to see an impact,” DeSantis said during a news conference Monday afternoon. “You’re going to see significant impacts.”

MORE Weather forecast for Monday, 09/26/22, 11:00 p.m.


The governor said the state has suspended tolls around the Tampa Bay area and mobilized 5,000 National Guard troops, with another 2,000 on standby in neighboring states. More than 27,000 people working to restore power have been put on standby to help after the storm, DeSantis said.

“Please take this storm seriously. This is a real deal. This is not a drill,” Hillsborough County Emergency Management Director Timothy Dudley said at a storm preparedness news conference Monday in Tampa, where some mandatory evacuations were ordered.

About 300,000 people could be evacuated from low-lying areas in Hillsborough County alone, Administrator Bonnie Wise said at a news conference. Schools and other places were opened as shelters.

Officials issued in Pinellas County, which includes St. Petersburg evacuation order which will go into effect on Monday evening. Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said no one will be forced to leave, but they will stay at their own risk.

“That means we’re not going to come to your rescue. If you don’t, you’re on your own,” Gualtieri said. “For all practical purposes, leave. Right now. Everyone needs to go.”

The evacuation zone is along Tampa Bay and the rivers that feed it, covering it MacDill Air Force Base and well-known areas such as parts of Hyde Park, Davis Islands and Ybar City.

This satellite image provided by the National Hurricane Center taken at 2:26 a.m. ET on Sept. 27, 2022 shows the eye of Hurricane Yan moving toward western Cuba.

NOAA/National Weather Service

As of 2:30 a.m. Eastern Tuesday morning, Ian was moving north-northwest at 13 mph and was only about 35 miles south of the southwest coast of Cuba, according to National Hurricane Center. Its maximum sustained wind speed increased to 115 mph.

According to state media, Cuban authorities evacuated 50,000 people in Pinar del Río province, dispatched medical and emergency personnel, and took measures to protect food and other crops in warehouses.

“Cuba is expected to experience hurricane-force winds, as well as life-threatening storm surges and heavy rainfall,” Daniel Brown, a senior specialist at the US National Hurricane Center, told the Associated Press.

The hurricane center predicted that areas of the west coast of Cuba could see a 14-foot storm surge late Monday or early Tuesday.

An MNA helps pull small boats out of Havana Bay in Havana, Cuba, on September 26, 2022, as western Cuba was expected to bear the brunt of Hurricane Yan.


In Havana, fishermen hauled their boats out of the water along the famous Malecón, a seaside promenade, while city workers cleared storm drains ahead of the expected rain.

In Havana’s El Fangito, a poor neighborhood near the Almendares River, residents gathered what they could to leave their homes, many damaged by previous storms.

“I hope we avoid this because it would be the end for us. We already have so little,” said Abel Rodríguez, 54, a health worker.

In the Tampa Bay area, storm surge of ocean water reaches 10 feet and 10 inches of rain, with up to 15 inches in isolated areas. That’s enough water to flood low-lying coastal communities. Florida residents prepared, standing in lines for hours in Tampa to collect sandbags and clear store shelves of bottled water.

This image shows forecast storm surge inundation values ​​as of 11:00 p.m. ET, September 26, 2022, showing the maximum height that water could reach over normally dry land in some of the designated areas as Hurricane Yang makes landfall to Florida.

NOAA/National Weather Service

The nervous wait has led to long gas lines, crowded grocery stores and empty shelves, reports CBS News’ Omar Villafranco in Clearwater, Florida.

“We’re going to put these sandbags in front of the garage, the garage door, the front door … and we’re going to pray that everything will be okay,” Gabriel Ely, who moved to Clearwater from California, told CBS News.

Ian’s impending arrival also prompted NASA to pull it Artemis 1 rocket from its launch pad and back to the security of the agency’s Vehicle Assembly Building, likely ending any chance of launching an unmanned lunar shoot before November.

Hurricane Ian evacuation begins in Florida.


“Many people in the Florida peninsula and Florida Panhandle are at risk and need to be prepared to take action quickly,” said Rick Nabb, hurricane specialist with The Weather Channel, “and the slow motion we expect from Ian means we may have there will be wind, storm surge and flood caused by rain.’

DeSantis declared a state of emergency for all of Florida and urged residents to prepare for the storm, which will bring heavy rain, strong winds and rising seas to large parts of the state.

“We will continue to monitor the progress of this storm. But it’s really important to emphasize the degree of uncertainty that still exists,” DeSantis said at a news conference Sunday, warning that “even if you’re not necessarily right about the path of the storm, there will be pretty broad impacts across the state.”

A hurricane
Hurricane Ian is seen in a satellite image at 3:00 PM ET on September 26, 2022.


Flash and urban flooding is possible in the Florida Keys and the Florida peninsula through midweek, followed by heavy rainfall in northern Florida, the Florida Panhandle, and the southeastern United States later this week.

The Hurricane Center advised Florida residents to have hurricane plans and stay tuned for updates on the storm’s development.

President Biden also declared a state of emergency, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to coordinate disaster relief and provide assistance to protect lives and property. The president postponed a planned trip to Florida on Tuesday because of the storm.