State Watch

Mandatory evacuation ordered for Tampa area as Hurricane Ian approaches

Residents in parts of Tampa, Fla., received mandatory evacuation orders on Monday as Hurricane Ian barrels toward the state’s Gulf Coast, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) warning more evacuations are likely to come.

The evacuation order spans waterfront areas in Tampa and elsewhere in Hillsborough County, while officials also issued a voluntary evacuation order for areas slightly more inland.

The National Hurricane Center forecasts Ian will continue strengthening into a major hurricane in the coming hours as it hits Jamaica and western Cuba before traveling north toward Florida, possibly bringing life-threatening storm surges along the state’s west coast.

“We’re asking everyone to go ahead and while the weather is cooperating just get out of those high-water areas,” Tampa Mayor Jane Castor (D) said on CNN’s “At This Hour With Kate Bolduan.”

Castor said residents don’t have to travel far, but should get away from areas that could see the impacts of storm surges.

“If you can leave, just leave now, and we will take care of your personal property,” she said on CNN.

DeSantis, during a press conference on Monday, urged Floridians to not panic buy, while warning that more evacuation orders are likely still to come. He said the storm’s large diameter could mean widespread impacts across the state, including power outages.

“The important thing for people to know is to know the zone that you’re in,” the governor said. “You will have counties probably throughout this morning and into this afternoon identifying areas that are vulnerable for evacuation, so you should anticipate that.”

The National Weather Service has issued hurricane warnings and watches for parts of Florida’s coast. 

Some school districts have already announced school closures as the storm approaches, with some schools closing early on Monday to prepare the facilities as shelters.

Tags Florida Hurricane Ian Jane Castor Jane Castor Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis Tampa

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