Florida Orders Evacuation of 300,000 People Ahead of Hurricane Ian

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More than 300,000 Florida residents are under mandatory evacuation orders, as Hurricane Ian bears down on the state. Overall, Ian is expected to impact more than 15 million people.

According to the National Weather Service, winds have already surpassed 100 mph and Ian is expected to make landfall somewhere between Tampa and Naples late Wednesday. As of Tuesday, it had grown to Category 3, classifying it as a major hurricane.

“Mother nature always wins. And this storm is going to be a very impactful storm … If you can leave, just leave now. And we will take care of your personal property,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor told CNN.

“You certainly could replace personal possessions. You can’t bring anyone back to life.”

Tampa is in Hillsborough County and officials predict it could be the hardest hit. That said, hurricanes are generally unpredictable, putting other areas, particularly to the south, also at great risk.

Hurricane Ian Heading to Florida

Other major Florida cities, including Orlando, Tallahassee and Jacksonville, are also making preparations for Ian’s arrival.

“This is a really, really big hurricane,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said, adding that it very well could impact the entire state with a width of 500 miles.

Along with that, DeSantis said rescue personnel, generators and water pumps are being sent across the state, given the likelihood of heavy flooding. That included 5,000 Florida National Guard Troops, as well as some from nearby states Georgia and Tennessee.

“All major airlines were preparing for flight cancellations to the region and both Orlando and Tampa International Airports were making preparations ahead of the hurricane hitting the state,” the New York Post reported.

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