September 27, 2022 | By Colin O. Jarrett |
Hurricane Ian continues to strengthen as Florida and Cuba brace for strong winds and possible floods this week.
According to the National Hurricane Centre, NHC by late Monday, the storm was in the western Caribbean Sea about 105 miles southeast of the western tip of Cuba with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph and higher gusts.
A hurricane warning is in place for three Cuban provinces while a hurricane watch was issued along the west coast of Florida. According to state media authorities in Cuba they were evacuating 50,000 people in one province, sent in medical and emergency personnel and took steps to protect food and other crops in warehouses.
NHC Senior Specialist Daniel Brown said “Cuba is expecting extreme hurricane-force winds, also life-threatening storm surge and heavy rainfall”. The hurricane is expected to bring 8 to 15 inches of rain to central West Florida, the first major hurricane since 1921.
The storm could cause flash and urban flooding mid-to-late week in central Florida, as well as across the Florida Keys and the peninsula through midweek.