DEVELOPING STORY: Tens of thousands of residents are evacuating Tampa Bay, Florida in advance of Hurricane Ian. At least 300,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders.
The National Hurricane Center predicts the storm will hit Tampa as a Category 3 storm with winds of upwards of 130 mph.
Fox News Channel’s Janice Dean said it was a worst case scenario.
“This current track is for Hurricane Ian is devastating for Tampa,” Dean wrote on social media. “It would be a worst case scenario for storm surge.”
Forecasters are predicting a storm surge of up to ten feet will inundate the city. As much as two feet of rainfall is expected. Hurricane Ian is expected to be the first storm to hit Tampa in more than a century. See our coverage below.
“At that point, I think we’re going to have a pretty good sense of what’s going on, but this has really developed into a really big storm,” Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters at the state Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee. “Just the impacts are going to be far and wide.”
It seems as though most people are taking the threat seriously. Video shows interstates backed up with cars headed out of town.
“You have a significant storm that may end up being a Category 4 hurricane,” DeSantis said at a news conference. “That’s going to cause a huge amount of storm surge. You’re going to have flood events. You’re going to have a lot of different impacts.”
The governor advised residents to take precautions but not to panic.
“There’s no need to panic buy,” DeSantis said. “If you normally don’t drink a lot of water you don’t need to buy 20 gallons of water.”
Evacuation is in full force in #Tampa in preparation of hurricane #Ian. Latest advisory from the NHC comes out in exactly 1hr and 20m from now. Great to see people getting out even if it’s 9:40 ET. pic.twitter.com/uhAeKwtdLD— 𝗣𝗲𝘁𝘁𝘂𝘀 𝗪𝗲𝗮𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 (@PettusWX) September 27, 2022
Miami correspondent Leonardo Feldman reports on the latest out of Florida. Several areas in Tampa are now under mandatory evacuations as they brace for hurricane Ian to hit. @LeoFeldmanNEWS— Newsmax (@newsmax) September 26, 2022
MORE: https://t.co/wno2he3qo0 pic.twitter.com/bQwaW41Wn9
Major Traffic Backups in Tampa as mandatory evacuation orders were issued earlier for zone A in Hillsbourgh County and Voluntary Orders for B. pic.twitter.com/W3C2X1FhZp— Vorticity Weather Network (@VorticityWxNet) September 26, 2022