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Hurricane Ian is set to make landfall along the Florida coast over the next 24 hours as a major hurricane, threatening millions of Floridians with catastrophic flooding.
The US National Weather Service said the already major hurricane is expected to grow to a category 4 by landfall, with the Tampa region receiving the brunt of the storm.
Hurricane Ian ripped through Cuba Tuesday morning with sustained winds of 125mph. Dozens of shelters were set up in the Pinar Del Rio province, where over 50,000 people were evacuated.
Hurricane & Tropical Storm Warnings for #Ian are in effect for much of the west coast of Florida. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion. Today is your last day to prepare and follow evacuation orders from local officials. https://t.co/cy01fM7Od6 pic.twitter.com/qAwQAHpjDG
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 27, 2022
“This is a life-threatening situation,” the NWS said. “Persons located within these areas should take all necessary actions to protect life and property from rising waters and the potential for other dangerous conditions. Ian is forecast to approach the west coast of Florida as a dangerous major hurricane.”
Biden approves federal assistance for Florida amid Hurricane Ian
On Tuesday, President Biden addressed the media outside the White House saying that he’s approved federal assistance after a request from Florida Governor Ron DeStantis.
President Biden: "My administration is on alert and in action to help the people of Florida."
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 27, 2022
President Biden did not say that he spoke with Gov. DeSantis, but did say he spoke with the mayors of Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater.
“I told each one of them by conversations separately, whatever they need to contact me directly,” Biden said.
Mandatory evacuations have been put in place for hundreds of thousands of Floridians as utility crews prepare to deal with the storm’s impact.
— NEWS24/7 (@AmericaToday15) September 27, 2022
— Marlisa Goldsmith (@MarlisaTV) September 27, 2022
“Floridians up and down the Gulf coast should feel the impacts of this,” DeSantis said at a press conference Tuesday. “This is a really, really big hurricane at this point.”