Hurricane Ian Hits Cuba, Florida Prepares for Storms, Floods

Havana – Hurricane Ian hit western Cuba as a major hurricane on Tuesday, leaving 1 million people without power and heading on a collision course with Florida in the warm waters of the Gulf as conditions are expected to escalate into catastrophic conditions. Stirred. Category 4 storms.

Ian landed in Cuba’s Pinar del Rio province, where authorities set up 55 shelters, evacuated 50,000 people, and took steps to protect crops in the country’s key tobacco-growing regions. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Cuba suffered “significant wind and storm surge effects” when the hurricane hit her with sustained maximum winds of 125 mph (205 kmh).

Ian was expected to go even stronger Warm Gulf of Mexicoreaching 130 mph (209 km/h) gales approaching the southwestern coast of Florida, where 2.5 million people have been ordered to evacuate.

Strong tropical storm winds were expected across the southern peninsula late Tuesday, reaching hurricane strength on Wednesday, with an eye forecast to make landfall. Strong tropical storm winds blew 140 miles (225 kilometers) from central Ian, causing widespread damage across Florida.

The exact location where Ian would land was not yet clear. Brian McNoldy, a hurricane researcher at the University of Miami, said its precise trajectory could help determine how severe the storm surge in Tampa Bay is. McNoldy said the effects could be “much worse” if it landed south of the bay.

Gil Gonzalez closed the windows on Tuesday and prepared sandbags to protect his Tampa home. He and his wife had stocked up on bottled water before evacuating, and had packed flashlights, cell phone batteries in his pack, and a camp stove.

“I put all my valuable belongings upstairs and near my friend’s house and loaded them into the car,” Gonzalez said. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has urged people to stay out of the storm’s path in case of prolonged power outages.

“It’s a big storm. When the water comes in, it kicks up a lot of water,” DeSantis said at a news conference in the coastal city of Sarasota, population 57,000. A very large storm surge will occur, leading to massive flooding. And this is the life-threatening kind of storm surge. ”

He said about 30,000 utilities have already been deployed in the state, but it could take days to safely reach some of the downed power lines.

“This is real,” said DeSantis. “It’s a big, big storm.”

Nearly 100 shelters will be open by Tuesday afternoon, with more to come, according to DeSantis. He said most buildings in Florida are strong enough to withstand the wind, but the 2.5 million people told to evacuate face the greatest danger from flooding.

Hundreds of residents had been evacuated from several nursing homes in the Tampa area, and hospitals were also moving some patients. Tampa, St. Petersburg and Key West airports have been closed. Busch Gardens in Tampa was closed before the storm, and several Orlando-area theme parks, including Disney World and Sea World, were scheduled to close Wednesday and Thursday.

NASA rolled the moon rocket A delay of several weeks was added to the test flight from the launch pad to the Kennedy Space Center hangar.

Ian’s advance was expected to slow down over the Gulf, but Make the hurricane wider and stronger. The hurricane warning was extended Tuesday to cover about 220 miles (350 kilometers) of Florida’s west coast. This area includes Fort Myers, Tampa, and St. Petersburg. First direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921.

Forecasters said storm surges could reach 12 feet (3.6 meters) if they peaked at high tide. Rainfall near the landing site can exceed 18 inches (46 centimeters).

“It’s a monster and there’s chaos on the road,” said Renee Correa, who headed inland to Orlando from the Tampa area with her daughter and Chihuahua. is.”

Kelly Johnson was getting ready to kick back in her home two blocks from the beach in Dunedin, west of Tampa. He said that when seawater surged inland, he fled upstairs and had a generator with him when the power went out.

“I’m from Florida and I know how to deal with hurricanes,” Johnson said. “This is part of life in paradise. Know that sometimes these storms will come upon you.”

Weather forecasters warn that the effects will be felt over a wide area as the hurricane is expected to move north across Florida. Flash floods could occur statewide, with parts of Florida’s east coast facing a potential storm surge threat as Ian’s band approaches the Atlantic. , with a chance of heavy rain over the weekend.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp preemptively declared a state of emergency on Tuesday and ordered 500 National Guard soldiers on standby to respond if needed.

As the center of the storm moved to the Gulf, a scene of destruction appeared in Cuba’s world-famous tobacco belt. , posted a picture of a greenhouse covered in rubble and an overturned wagon.

“It was apocalyptic and a real disaster,” wrote Robaina Hirochi, grandson of the operation’s founder.

Local government agency TelePinar reported extensive damage to the main hospital in the city of Pinar del Rio, tweeting pictures of a collapsed ceiling and fallen trees. No deaths have been reported.

At the White House, President Joe Biden said his administration is sending hundreds of Federal Emergency Management Agency employees to Florida, assuring Storm Road mayors that Washington will meet their needs. He urged residents to heed the orders of local authorities.

“Your safety is of utmost importance,” he said.


Anderson reported from St. Petersburg, Florida. Associated Press contributors include Cody Jackson of Tampa, Fla.; Frieda Frisaro of Miami; Anthony Izaguirre of Tallahassee, Fla.; Mike Schneider of Orlando, Fla.; New York’s Bobby Kyna Calvin and Julie Walker.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/world/2022/09/27/hurricane-ian-lashes-cuba-aims-at-florida-as-possible-cat-4/ Hurricane Ian Hits Cuba, Florida Prepares for Storms, Floods

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