Florida Prepares for Hurricane Ian

Florida residents are being told to evacuate immediately, as Hurricane Ian continues to move toward the sunshine state.
Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 6:38 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) -Florida residents are being told to evacuate immediately, as Hurricane Ian continues to move toward the sunshine state.

“We have 65 tractor trailer loads of supplies that have already been moved to Jacksonville, said Michelle Gallagher, Executive director of the northern Michigan Chapter of the American Red Cross, “They’re just waiting to be deployed so we can get them out to people as quickly as possible.”

The Red cross is working ahead of Hurricane Ian as it continues to make its way into the west coast of Florida. Ian is expected to make landfall as a major hurricane late Wednesday into Thursday morning.

“So far the Red Cross has deployed 300 trained Red Cross disaster workers on the ground to Florida,” said Gallagher. “We expect that number to grow to 3,000.”

Tampa and St. Petersburg originally appeared to be among the most likely targets for their first direct hit by a major hurricane in a century. But the latest path projection shows Ian is now expected to hit further south along the coast. Jurnie Havens who lives in St. Petersburg is fearful of the damage the hurricane might cause.

“I’m scared, but you know, I’m not used to this.”

The Michigan native who has only been in Florida a year, says they are preparing the best they can for the storm.

“Some of my neighbors are boarding up their windows, we’re actually going to board up our front window tonight,’” said Havens. “Everybody’s stocking up on water and we’re stocking up on non-perishables.”

With the heavy wind and rain, power outages across the region are expected.

Tampa Electric Company is being proactive to prepare for the hurricane conditions.

“We’ve basically shut down all sub stations that are near the river,” said Aaron Schiefer, Tampa Electric Company. ”We’ve actually got them running off of different sub stations at higher ground. Once the sub station is down everyone is out so we kind of have been doing proactive measures to make sure all our pumps and stuff are working down there.”

The Red Cross says they are predicating that nearly 60,000 people will be in evacuation shelters between now and the weekend.