Hurricane Ian Rips Through Cuba, Strengthens As It Heads To Florida
Forcing evacuation orders for 2.5 million Floridians, Hurricane Ian is in the open Gulf, where conditions are prime for it to grow perhaps even stronger than originally expected.
Those on the ground in Cuba, where Ian made landfall late Monday, have been sharing pictures of the devastation left in the storm's wake. Several of the pictures show entire trees uprooted, buildings in shambles, and property severely damaged.
Hurricane Ian made landfall on the western edge of Cuba as a Category 3 storm with maximum sustained winds at 125 mph. It lost a little bit of power after traveling over land, but it is expected to continue through the Gulf and increase in power before slamming into the western coast of Florida.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has been encouraging Florida residents to heed evacuation orders.
“There’s still uncertainty about with where that exact landfall will be, but just understand the impacts are going to be far, far broader than just where the eye of the storm happens to make landfall,” DeSantis said in a public statement.
“When you have 5 to 10 feet of storm surge, that is not something you want to be a part of,” he said. “Mother Nature is a very fearsome adversary, so please heed those warnings.”
The storm is currently expected to move across the state and head up the Atlantic coast, though some models have it staying on land as it moves upward. However, it is currently projected to lose its power quickly as it stays over land.