Massive, Unpredictable Storm has 300,000 Floridians Heading for The Hills

The Sunshine State is once again in the crosshairs of a major weather system, and authorities aren’t taking any chances when it comes to keeping citizens safe.

On the west coast of Florida, mandatory evacuations are taking place as Hurricane Ian continues to gain strength on its as-of-yet-unpredictable path.

Tropical Storm Ian strengthened into Hurricane Ian on Monday morning as coastal residents brace for major impacts from the storm as the week progresses.

Hurricane status was declared at around 5 a.m. as the storm’s winds strengthened to 75 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane Ian is expected to become a significant hurricane within the next 48 hours. A hurricane watch was issued for Florida’s Gulf Coast, including Tampa Bay.

Hillsborough County, which contains Tampa, ordered a mandatory evacuation for residents living in the city’s coastal area. It also announced a voluntary evacuation for most of the rest of the county.

While the storm is predicated to make landfall later this week, officials aren’t quite sure where Ian will hit Florida first.

The most dire of the evacuations is taking place near Tampa, with over 300,000 residents being told to pack up and head inland, as Ian could being a storm surge of up to 15 feet to the already-shallow Tampa Bay.

The storm is currently on a path toward the western part of Cuba.


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