Hurricane Ian is expected to hit Florida Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 storm

Written by Mary Triplett, Meteorologist

Last updated 9/28/2022, 12:32:04 AM

Hurricane Ian continues to gain strength as it moves over the Gulf of Mexico and towards Florida on Wednesday. 

The forecast calls for the storm to briefly become a Category 4 hurricane with winds over 130 mph before making landfall south of Tampa, between Sarastota and Fort Myers. 

Hurricane force winds are expected in Southwest Florida and West-Central Florida as early as Wednesday morning.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Dry Tortugas Island and from Chokoloskee to Anclote River, including Tampa Bay. 

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for all the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, Florida Bay, Grand Bahama Island, Flamingo to Chokoloskee and to South Santee River. 

Governor Rob DeSantis announced that Florida tolls have been suspended and that mandatory evacuations have been issued for the following counties: 

  • Charlotte
  • Citrus
  • Collier
  • Hernando
  • Hillsborough
  • Lee
  • Levy
  • Manatee
  • Pasco
  • Pinellas
  • Putnam
  • Sarasota

Storm surge will be a huge deal as the hurricane gets closer to the coast. Storm Surge Warnings are in effect from Naples to Sarasota where 8-12 feet of surge is possible.

Do you live in a storm surge zone? If you don’t know, check out this Florida Disaster website.

Widespread catastrophic flash, urban, and river flooding is expected across central Florida through Friday Central Florida could expect 15-20 inches of rainfall with localized amounts up to 2 feet!.

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