“I wish I didn’t have to offer this forecast,” National Weather Service Director Ken Graham said as federal officials provided a gloomy update on Hurricane Ian on Wednesday.
The 155 mph gusts generated by Ian reach 35 miles from the storm’s center.
“It is not located precisely in the middle. This has a greater impact than expected, “Graham added.
After the eye of the storm makes landfall, Ian will sweep through the state in around twenty-four hours, creating a dangerous situation for millions. As a result of the combination of strong winds and rain, as well as the storm’s slow progress, certain areas may experience a storm surge of up to 18 feet and up to 2 feet of rain alone.
Even the east coast of Florida is forecast to see storm surge and severe gusts, he added, and tornadoes will remain a concern, especially in the storm’s right front quadrant.
Gail McGovern, chief executive officer of the American Red Cross, stated that 60,000 shelter supplies and over 500 Red Cross responders are prepared. She predicts that more than 2,500 Red Cross rescuers would be deployed by the end of the weekend.
“To everyone in the path of the storm, please, please, please obey your elected authorities’ and local officials’ evacuation recommendations,” McGovern urged. “We recognize that for many of you, the path to recovery from Hurricane Ian will be a long one, and the American Red Cross will be there every step of the way.”
FEMA has amassed 3.7 million meals and 3.5 million liters of water in preparation for the storm’s landfall. The same 300 ambulances that assisted the state during the COVID-19 outbreak stand ready to assist.»Hurricane Ian traversing Florida, live updates«