- A growing number of counties have issued evacuation warnings, with eight now mandating a move inland
- Charlotte, Hillsborough, Levy, Lee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties all issued evacuations to varying degrees
- Hurricane Ian is now considered a major hurricane. The storm is located roughly 200 miles southwest of Key West, moving north at 12 miles per hour
- State leaders have urged residents to act in compliance with evacuation orders
Eight Florida counties have issued mandatory evacuation orders, as of Tuesday afternoon, urging residents in low-lying areas of the state’s west coast to move inland to avoid deadly flooding and storm surges.
Charlotte, Hillsborough, Levy, Lee, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties all issued evacuations to varying degrees. Gov. Ron DeSantis during a press conference on Tuesday said to expect catastrophic flooding across Florida’s Gulf Coast with storm surges along coastal lines.
According to the governor, Hurricane Ian has the potential to bring about historic levels of destruction.
- In Hillsborough County, Zones A and B have been ordered to evacuate including all low-lying areas, mobile, and manufactured homes.
- Pasco County ordered mandatory evacuations for some areas on Monday, with voluntary evacuations elsewhere.
- Hernando County issued a mandatory evacuation for Zones A, B, and C on Tuesday.
- For Pinellas County, all residents in Evacuation Zone A (including all mobile home residents) will be under mandatory evacuation orders. Mandatory orders for evacuation zones B and C will be effective on Tuesday
- Manatee County, which is south of St. Petersburg and includes Bradenton, is requiring evacuation for residents located in Zones A and B, while Zone C remains under a voluntary evacuation order
- Sarasota County is calling for the evacuation of Level A including vessels, RVs, and mobile and manufactured homes.
- Charlotte County issued evacuation orders for residents in all of Zone A and Zone B, including the barrier islands of Don Pedro Island, Knight Island (Palm Island), Little Gasparilla Island, Gasparilla Island, and Manasota Key.
- Lee County issued evacuation orders for barrier islands and low-lying areas. The county will open some of its shelters for evacuees who do not have other locations to stay. The evacuation area includes the entirety of Evacuation Zone A, which includes islands and coastal areas.
“Hurricane Ian is on track to make landfall on Florida’s Western Gulf Coast and will bring heavy rain, wind, and storm surge to many of our coastal communities. Floridians must stay vigilant and make final preparations for this storm immediately,” said state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. “Hurricane Ian is expected to cause up to 15 inches of rainfall in parts of south Florida, isolated totals up to 24 inches of rainfall in central west Florida, and severe flooding.”
Ian is now considered a major hurricane, according to DeSantis. The storm is located roughly 200 miles southwest of Key West, moving north at 12 miles per hour. The storm made landfall over west Cuba this morning.
Sustained winds of 125 miles per hour have been recorded as new models show a new point of impact just south of Tampa Bay, close to the Sarasota metro area, though models are still subject to change as Ian moves closer to the Florida peninsula.
“This makes for dangerous road conditions and significant damage to your home and business. Heed all watches and warnings from local officials and stay alert for shelter availability and evacuation information.,” continued Patronis. “If you are asked to evacuate, please do so.”