5am Update: Naples, Sarasota bracing for 140 mph winds at impact

by | Sep 27, 2022

  • Hurricane Ian will make landfall today as a Category 4 storm with 140 mph winds
  • The National Hurricane Center projects the worst storm surge to hit between Naples and Sarasota, with landfall projected near Venice, FL
  • Much of the state will experience outages of power as the storm moves through with winds as high as 80 mph inland

5:00 A.M. Update:

The near-term path of Hurricane Ian has not changed considerably. The storm is expected to make landfall somewhere near Venice, between Sarasota to the south and Port Charlotte to the north.

The National Hurricane Center says life-threatening storm surge is expected along the Florida west coast and the Lower Florida Keys where a storm surge warning is in effect, with the highest risk from Naples to the Sarasota region.

Hurricane-force winds are expected in the hurricane warning area in southwest and west-central Florida beginning Wednesday morning with tropical storm conditions expected overnight. Catastrophic wind damage is expected near the core of Ian when it moves onshore.

Heavy rainfall will spread across the Florida peninsula through Thursday and reach portions of the Southeast later this week and this weekend. Widespread, life-threatening catastrophic flooding is expected across portions of central Florida with considerable flooding in southern Florida, northern Florida, southeastern Georgia and coastal South Carolina. Widespread, prolonged major and record river flooding expected across central Florida.


11:10 P.M. Update: 

Hurricane Ian is roughly 135 miles southwest of Fort Myers and is now expected to make landfall as a Category 4 storm with winds of 120 miles per hour. Ian is expected to cause life-threatening storm surges, catastrophic winds, and flooding in the Florida peninsula.

More than 15 tornado watches have gone into effect in South Florida, with at least 2 recorded tornados touching down in Palm Beach County.

Heavy rains have set upon Key West upwards into Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. Flooding and collapsed trees have been recorded in the area.

5:00 P.M. Update: 

Little change has been made since the 2:00 P.M. update. Sustained winds remain at 120 miles per hour, while storm cell movement continues at 10 miles per hour moving north.

Landfall is expected to be made at approximately 8:00 P.M. Wednesday night on the southwest Florida coast.

Utility trucks from Oklahoma have been seen entering Florida for storm response reinforcement.

Trucks from Indiana, Texas, and Wisconsin have also entered the state.

4:36 P.M. Update: 

The city of Tampa plans to enact a curfew as Hurricane Ian barrels toward Florida, officials announced during a news conference Tuesday morning, as reported by the Tampa Bay Times.

Exact details have yet to be announced.

4:29 P.M. Update: 

President Joe Biden made calls to Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch, and Clearwater Mayor Frank Hibbard to discuss preparations for Hurricane Ian.

Biden later approved a Federal Emergency Declaration and instructed Administrator Deanne Criswell to ensure that all available federal support is surged to Florida to prepare and respond to the Hurricane.

An unconfirmed report this morning stated that Biden has yet to make contact with Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Elsewhere in the state, Universal Orlando Resort, including CityWalk, will close on Sept. 28 & remain fully closed on Sept. 29.

Disney has yet to make an announcement regarding park or amenity status.

4:07 P.M. Update: 

Uber on Tuesday announced that it will expand its ongoing shelter transportation initiative to Sarasota, Charlotte, and Lee counties following evacuation orders. The rideshare app on Monday afternoon stated that it will be offering free round-trip rides in Southwest Florida, up to $30 each way, to and from a state-approved evacuation shelter.

In the app, the promotional code “IANRELIEF” will take up to $30 off a requested trip each way.

4:03 P.M. Update: 

A tornado warning is in effect for portions of Miami-Dade county. County officials instruct to stay away from windows and move to an interior room on the lowest floor until the storm has passed if you are in the warning area.

South Florida has begun receiving heavy rain and high wind speeds as Hurricane Ian moves over west Cuba.

3:55 P.M. Update: 

The University of Florida has moved its Saturday home football game against Eastern Washington University to Sunday at noon.

2:55 P.M. Update: 

Clay County has issued a mandatory evacuation order for Zones A, B, and C.

In St. John’s County, a mandatory evacuation will go into effect at noon tomorrow for Zones A, B, and F.

2:27 P.M. Update:

President Joe Biden says that his administration is surging resources to Florida ahead of Hurricane Ian’s expected landfall, according to Ken Thomas of the Wall Street Journal.

The latest National Hurricane Center models released at 2:00 show a largely unchanged pathway towards Southwest Florida. Sustained winds have decreased to 120 miles per hour, while storm cell movement has slowed to 10 miles per hour moving north.

Expected landfall remains at 8:00 A.M. Wednesday.

12:24 P.M. Update: 

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry has announced a Local State of Emergency that will go into effect Wednesday, Sept. 28 beginning at noon.

Hurricane Ian has now developed into a category 3 storm with sustained winds of 125 miles per hour.

12:03 P.M. Update: 

35 school districts have announced school closures, with more expected to come by Wednesday.

All three South Florida school districts (Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade) have suspended classes and school activities to some capacity this week.

11:58 A.M. Update: 

State leaders reiterate that Floridians should expect to lose power. The span of time individuals will be left without power is unknown at this time.

“People should anticipate losing power,” said DeSantis. “When you have a storm of this magnitude, that’s what happens. It knocks down trees, it knocks down power lines, so when you’re getting prepared, be prepared to make do without having consistent power. That could be a few days, it could be more than a few days.”

11:33 A.M. Update

Hurricane Ian is still located roughly 200 miles southwest of Key West, moving north at 12 miles per hour with sustained wind remaining at 125 miles per hour.

The storm has shifted eastward since yesterday and is now expected to hit south of Tampa Bay near Sarasota.

Gov. Ron DeSantis referred to the anticipated storm fallout as a “major water event.” The slow-moving nature of Ian will likely cause saturation of weather events across the Gulf Coast before it moves northward.

DeSantis fears public safety and infrastructure integrity amid potential storm surges eclipsing 10 to 15 feet in height.

11:05 A.M. Update:

Citrus and Hernando counties have issued mandatory evacuation orders. While Citrus County is only mandating that those in Zone A evacuate, Hernando County has issued the statement for Zones A, B, and C.

10:33 A.M. Update: 

Inland Broward County is now under a tropical storm watch. While a direct hit is still unlikely, Ian’s eastward shift in track means increased impacts to the region like flooding and tornados, according to Sen. Lauren Book.

9:08 A.M. Update: 

Hurricane Ian is now considered a major hurricane, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis. The storm is located roughly 200 miles southwest of Key West, moving north at 12 miles per hour and expected to make landfall in Cuba shortly.

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.

DeSantis says 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 flooding, leading to a series of evacuation mandates in five counties — Pasco, Pinellas, Charlotte, Levy, and Sarasota.

Amid evacuation efforts, the Florida Department of Transportation will open emergency shoulder lanes on highways once sustained traffic speeds fall below 40 miles per hour. Road tolls are still suspended on 11 highways to accommodate evacuating residents. The 11 toll-free highways include Polk Parkway in Polk County, Suncoast Parkway in Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus County, Veterans Expressway in Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus County, the I-4 Connector in Hillsborough County, Selmon Expressway in Hillsborough County, Pinellas Bayway in Pinellas County, Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Pinellas County, Garcon Point Bridge in Santa Rosa County, Spence Parkway in Okaloosa County, Mid-Bay Bridge in Okaloosa County, and Alligator Alley in Collier and Broward Counties.

As of the morning update, 2.5 million Floridians are under a mandatory evacuation order.

** State officials will update on the storm again around 8 P.M.**


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