Status: 09/28/2022 5:46 PM
Hurricane Ian is approaching the west coast of Florida and is getting stronger. It has since been upgraded to the fifth category. Authorities warn of life-threatening storms.
Florida Governor Ron Dientis warned that two days would be very ugly days. It’s been a storm at the southern tip of Florida in Key West since night. Television images show meter-high waves and torrential rain.
With winds of nearly 250 kilometers per hour, Hurricane Ian is currently heading toward the west coast of Florida. The eye of the storm is expected to hit the Gulf Coast in the afternoon local time, somewhere between Fort Myers and Venice south of Tampa.
Hurricane Ian is moving across the Gulf of Mexico with increasing force and has now reached Florida.
Catastrophic rain is also expected
“This will lead to a life-threatening storm, along with tropical storm wind speeds across the state and even isolated hurricanes,” warns Kevin Gouffthery of the Florida Emergency Management Agency.
Meteorologists predict that the second-highest category of hurricanes will produce catastrophic rainfall of 30 to 50 centimeters. 10,000 residents of the area had to leave their homes, but many people chose to stay. They were asked not to put themselves at risk.
Governor deSantis warned citizens not to go out: “Don’t go out into the eye of the storm, this is extremely dangerous – even when the calm is right at the center of the storm.” The storm will cause significant damage, DeSantis said, with major power outages and damage to infrastructure and communications lines expected.
There hasn’t been a tropical storm like this in the Tampa area in about 100 years. The authorities are concerned that in recent decades, construction has been getting closer and closer to the water. The Sunshine State has seen a population increase of three million people in recent years.
Tampa’s mayor, Jane Castor, is also concerned that large parts of the city are running low:
If a storm surge came and at the same time we tried to drain the heavy rain through our sewage system, it would not work. There will be floods. We just have to make sure everyone in the Tampa Bay area is safe.
More than 3,200 National Guard personnel are standing by to assist with rescue and disinfection efforts. Another 1,800 soldiers are on alert. The storm should move toward Georgia and South Carolina by Friday morning at the latest.