(NSF/TALLAHASSEE, FL) – Governor Ron DeSantis is urging Floridians to be aware of local evacuation orders as Hurricane Ian is expected to strengthen into a major storm in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
During a media briefing at the state Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee Monday, DeSantis said that Ian will bring heavy rain, strong winds, flash flooding, storm surges and isolated tornadoes to Florida’s Gulf Coast.
DeSantis, who over the weekend declared a state of emergency for all of Florida, said the storm’s track indicated an expected landfall around Levy County, southwest of Gainesville.
However, he says the final track remains uncertain.
“Make sure you have your plan in place. Finish whatever preparations you have. This thing is coming this week. We know that, and we know we are going to have some major impacts throughout the state of Florida.”
State Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie says several hundred staff members have been deployed to support emergency shelters throughout the state.
“Do not panic. There is still time to get your preparations in order and safely evacuate if necessary. Remember to make a plan that works best for your family and business. Include your children, pets and seniors that you care for, in your disaster preparedness plans.”
The Florida National Guard has activated 5,000 people, with 2,000 additional guard members from Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina available to assist with storm response.
Five urban search-and-rescue teams have been activated.
(From The News Service of Florida)