Early Tuesday, Ian became a major hurricane — meaning Category 3 or stronger, with winds of at least 111 miles per hour. It is the ninth named storm of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season.
On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to emerge over the southeastern Gulf of Mexico in a couple of hours, pass west of the Florida Keys later today, and approach the west coast of Florida within the hurricane warning area on Wednesday and Wednesday night,” NHC forecasters said. The system is expected to grow by Tuesday afternoon into a Category 4 hurricane with 140 mph winds and 165 mph gusts in the Gulf of Mexico before turning, slowing down its forward speed and making a beeline to Florida’s Gulf Coast.
Hurricane Ian plowed into Cuba early Tuesday growing in strength to a Category 3 major hurricane with 125 mph sustained winds with a projected path that sees the storm growing further before making landfall on Florida likely near Tampa Bay late Wednesday or early Thursday.
As of 8 a.m., the National Hurricane Center puts the center of Ian in the Gulf of Mexico about 10 miles north-northeast of Pinar Del Rio, Cuba and 130 miles south-southwest of the Dry Tortugas. It made landfall at 4:30 a.m. on the western side of Cuba and is moving north at 12 mph. Hurricane-force winds extend out 35 miles with tropical-force-storm winds out 115 miles.
Evacuation orders began to roll out Monday with more expected to go into effect Tuesday morning.
- Hillsborough County is ordering a mandatory evacuation for residents in Zone A and is recommending a voluntary evacuation for Zone B.
- Pinellas County has issued a mandatory evacuation order for Zone A. Residents living in Zones B and C will have the same order go into effect on Tuesday at 7 a.m. The order follows a press conference on Monday morning during which officials warned “get out right now.”
- Pasco County announced evacuations in zones A, B and C, which include everyone west of U.S. 19 and some neighborhoods to the east. Read more here.
- MacDill Air Force Base issued an installation-wide mandatory evacuation to be completed by Tuesday at noon for non-mission essential individuals.
Find out more about shelters here, including information about pets and what to take with you.
- Hernando County: hernandocounty.us/departments/departments-a-e/emergency-management/shelter-information
- Hillsborough County: hillsboroughcounty.org/en/residents/public-safety/emergency-management/emergency-shelters
- Pasco County: pascocountyfl.net/310/Disaster-Preparedness
- Pinellas County: pinellascounty.org/emergency/shelters.htm
SANDBAGS: Residents will not have much longer to get sandbags. Hillsborough locations plan to close at 2 p.m. Read more about where to find sandbags here.