Florida’s governor has warned the state to prepare for a possible “major disaster” as Category 2 Hurricane Ian gathers strength in the Caribbean.
Strong winds began battering the southern coast of Cuba on Monday evening. Ian is expected to make landfall on the west coast of Florida on Wednesday. The exact path of the hurricane is uncertain, but Governor Ron DeSantis warned of major impacts across the state.
Residents have stockpiled food, water, medicine and fuel.
Some parts of the state haven’t seen a hurricane of this magnitude in about a century.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said it expects “rapid strengthening” of Ian over the next 48 hours as it moves north from its current location 130 west of Cuba.
“This is a really big hurricane,” Florida’s governor said at a news conference Monday, urging residents to “stay calm” but “do what you need to do to be prepared.”
The governor declared a state of emergency for all of Florida over the weekend and has activated 5,000 National Guard troops to help with relief efforts.