Kevin Guthrie, director of the Florida division of emergency management at a 11 p.m. press conference in Tallahassee, with Gov. Ron DeSantis (to the left) and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis (to the right). Credit: Screenshot, Florida Channel.
At a 11 p.m. news conference Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said that Ian may be a Category 4 storm when it makes impact in southwest Florida at the juncture of Charlotte and Lee counties and on the Gulf side of the peninsula.
The hurricane is expected to make landfall some time on Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center. Ian is now 110 miles southwest of Naples, in Collier County. Earlier Tuesday, the Tampa Bay area was the previous target of the storm, but Ian has moved further south.
That said, local officials are still pursuing evacuations in the Tampa Bay area.
And it appears that Ian may exit Florida through the East Coast, traveling northeast and including counties such as Volusia, St. Johns and Duval counties.
“This is a lot of nasty weather,” DeSantis said at the 11 p.m. news conference.
At least 54 of 67 traditional K-12 school districts and a handful of lab schools and other public schools have announced closures; tolls have been suspended in certain roads. Bridges could be closed at a certain point Wednesday. And widespread power outrages will be expected as Ian makes landfall.
DeSantis said he will have another news conference early Wednesday.
He reiterated that there could be “catastrophic flooding” and “life-threatening storm surge” in the Gulf Coast region.
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