Ian Florida Storm

Florida Braces For Ian As Tropical Storm Expected To Intensify Rapidly

President Joe Biden on Saturday approved an emergency declaration for Florida as the state faces a potential major hurricane from what is now Tropical Storm Ian, the White House said.

President Joe Biden on Saturday approved an emergency declaration for Florida as the state faces a potential major hurricane from what is now Tropical Storm Ian, the White House said.

The storm, currently in the central Caribbean Sea, is expected to become a hurricane by late Sunday and to become a major hurricane — meaning a Category 3 — by Monday or Tuesday, forecasters said.

“The President’s action authorizes FEMA to coordinate all disaster relief efforts to alleviate the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population and to provide appropriate assistance, to save lives, to protect property, public health and safety and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Desoto, Glades, Hardee, Hendry, Highlands, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Okeechobee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, and St. Lucie counties and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida and the Seminole Tribe of Florida,” said Fema.

The storm could reach Florida’s gulf coast by Wednesday or Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

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“Ian is forecast to be a major hurricane when it passes near or over western Cuba, and there is increasing confidence in a life-threatening storm surge and hurricane-force winds in portions of western Cuba beginning late Monday. Hurricane and tropical storm watches are now in effect for much of western Cuba,” said NHC.

“Ian is expected to remain a major hurricane when it moves generally northward across the eastern Gulf of Mexico during the middle of the week, but uncertainty in the long-term track and intensity forecast is higher than usual. Regardless of Ian’s exact track and intensity, there is a risk of dangerous storm surge, hurricane-force winds, and heavy rainfall along the west coast of Florida and the Florida Panhandle by the middle of the week, and residents in Florida should ensure they have their hurricane plan in place, follow any advice given by local officials, and closely monitor updates to the forecast,” said NHC.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis will hold a press conference on Sunday at 11:30 am. with the Florida Department of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie and FEMA Regional Administrator Gracia Szczech.

On Friday, Governor DeSantis issued Executive Order 22-218, declaring a State of Emergency for 24 counties in the potential path of the storm.

Additionally, Governor DeSantis requested a federal pre-landfall Emergency Declaration in anticipation of impacts from the storm. This declaration will make available important resources and support, as well as free up funding sources for emergency protective measures.

Under this emergency order, members of the Florida National Guard will be activated and on standby awaiting orders. 

“Today, I signed an Executive Order issuing a State of Emergency due to the threat of Tropical Depression 9,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “This storm has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to make their preparations. We are coordinating with all state and local government partners to track potential impacts of this storm.”

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