DeSantis had declared a state of emergency for several locations, but on Saturday he extended the measure to the rest of the state, while urging residents to prepare for the storm that could severely affect large parts of Florida.
“This hurricane has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage everyone to be prepared,” DeSantis said, adding that he was “coordinating with all state and local government partners to track the potential impact of this hurricane.”
The move frees up emergency protection funds and activates aid organizations and local security forces, the governor’s office said. The order stressed that there was a risk of hurricanes, flooding, dangerous winds and other weather conditions across the state.
The US National Hurricane Center said Hurricane Ian is expected to strengthen rapidly in the coming days and is expected to become a midday storm before moving into western Cuba and toward Florida’s west coast through the middle of next week.
On Saturday night, Hurricane Ian recorded winds of 75 kilometers per hour when it was about 370 kilometers south of Kingston, Jamaica.
An expert at the Center in Miami said it was not yet clear where the storm would hit the state.
“It’s too early to say” where the impact will be greatest, so at this point, “the message to anyone living in Florida is to follow the weather forecast and prepare for the impact of this tropical system,” said John Cangialosi.
However, in the North Atlantic, post-tropical Hurricane Fiona made landfall on Saturday in Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast, and swept homes into the sea, tearing roofs and leaving more than 500 people without power. Canadian authorities have no record of deaths or injuries.
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