Hurricane Ian is expected to bring winds of up to 130 mph (209 kph) and as much as 2 feet (0.6 meter) of rain to the Tampa area starting early on Wednesday through Thursday evening, the National Weather Service said.
The storm surge could cause devastating to catastrophic damage with some locations potentially uninhabitable for weeks or months, the service warned. Residents were urged to move to shelter before the arrival of the storm.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said residents should heed evacuation advisories and relocate to higher ground.
Residents across Florida have placed sandbags around their homes and stockpiled emergency supplies emptying store shelves as Hurricane Ian spun toward the state carrying high winds, torrential rains and a powerful storm surge.
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