The mayor of Tampa, Fla., is warning residents of the area to take the necessary actions to keep themselves safe because “Mother Nature wins every time.”
“It takes a whole city approach to ensure the public safety of our residents, and that’s why I am so focused on preparing now for whatever path the storm may take,” said Mayor Jane Castor in her message to the people of southwest Florida as Hurricane Ian makes is way past Cuba and toward the state.
Ian, the fourth hurricane of the 2022 Atlantic hurricane season, is now a Category 3 as the storm barrels northward.
According to the National Hurricane Center, when Hurricane Ian landed in Cuba at approximately 4:30 a.m on Tuesday (Sept. 27), it grew to a Category 3 with maximum sustained winds of 125 mph. The hurricane is expected to reach Tampa Bay, Florida, late Wednesday (Sept. 28) or early Thursday (Sept. 29). Residents of Tampa Bay and surrounding areas are being asked to evacuate.
The Orlando Sentinel reports Ian could become a Category 4 while in the Gulf of Mexico this afternoon. However, it may weaken before reaching southwest Florida.
On Tuesday (Sept. 27) morning, Governor Ron DeSantis, who declared a state of emergency for 24 counties and requested a federal pre-landfall emergency declaration, said at a press conference, "I would just tell all Floridians who are in the path of this, there's gonna be interruptions in things like power, there's gonna be interruptions in fuel, maybe interruptions in communications. That is to be expected, so just plan for that."
Libby Carnahan, a Florida Sea Grant agent and a founder of the Tampa Bay Climate Science Advisory Panel, told The Washington Post Hurricane Ian could be “larger than anything we’ve seen.” The Tampa Bay area has not seen a hurricane of this magnitude in more than 100 years.
Expedia has set up a page for affordable lodging for residents trying to evacuate, expedia.com/florida.
Cantor who says she has lived near the Hillsborough River for 20 years says the area where she lives has become a flood zone, which it was not before. She says that everyone should listen to those who have experience with extreme weather like this.
“Listen to the people who have been around,” she said. “Mother Nature wins every time.”