Hurricane Ian strengthened into an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds at 140 mph, and is expected to cause life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and flooding in the Florida Peninsula, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday.
RELATED: Hurricane Ian nears Florida, DeSantis declares state of emergency https://bit.ly/3SCgltr
Tornadoes also are a risk and several warnings and watches have been issued around the state into Wednesday morning as rain bands move across Florida.
Ian slammed into Cuba Tuesday, a Category 3 monster pounding the island with 125 mph winds. High winds and storm surge are still expected farther north into the Tampa Bay region, state Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said.
Hundreds of thousands of Floridians faced mandatory evacuation orders as the National Hurricane Center expanded its hurricane warning along more than 150 miles of the state’s Gulf Coast. Power outages can be expected statewide, Florida Power & Light warned.
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