Over the weekend, massive crowds showed up in supermarkets and photos on social media showed lines of Floridians stretching back from the cash registers through aisles that no longer have displays of bottled water and other basic commodities. (Related: Florida in PANIC ahead of Hurricane Ian making landfall: Grocery shelves STRIPPED BARE.)
Shots from one Costco store showed an individual with two industrial-sized pallets piled high with cases of water. At Home Depot and hardware stores, people go to the construction materials section to get planks of plywood to support their windows.
On Tuesday, Sept. 27, Hurricane Ian was predicted get stronger and reach category 4, bringing top winds of 140 mph (225 km/h) over warm Gulf of Mexico waters before striking the sunshine state. Forecasts expect it to make landfall on the west coast of Florida or the Florida Panhandle by Thursday, September 29.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis already declared a "state of emergency" with storm conditions "projected to constitute a major disaster." He has activated 5,000 National Guard troops to assist with relief efforts.
"That's going to cause a huge amount of storm surge," DeSantis said. "You’re going to have flood events. You’re going to have a lot of different impacts."
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has advised residents of Cuba, the Florida Keys and the Florida Peninsula to have a hurricane plan in place and to closely follow forecast updates.
"This is something that we haven't seen in our lifetime … So we definitely need to take it seriously," said Rick Davis, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Tampa office.
President Joe Biden also started a federal disaster relief aid for the state, one hour before he canceled his visit to Florida for the Democratic National Committee rally on September 27.
Hurricane Ian grew stronger as it approached the western tip of Cuba. Cuban authorities ordered the evacuation of 50,000 people in Pinar del Rio, the westernmost province on the island. Six thousand of them will be given shelter in schools and other state buildings, though the majority are expected to stay with friends and family.
Residents were already seeing the impact of the rains and wind on the Isle of Youth, on Cuba's southwestern coast.
The ferry between Gerona and Batabanó, a town in the Mayabeque province, was suspended as the hurricane could cause waves as high as 23 feet. Authorities rushed to protect the tobacco harvest, one of the most lucrative economic activities in the province. Public transportation was suspended at noon and all transit was banned.
Supplies that include shutters, water bottles, sandbags, rechargeable lamps, batteries and candles are usually not available to Cubans. Food shortages make it even harder to prepare for this big of a weather disturbance on the island.
In Havana, Cuba's largest and capital city, authorities were focused on collecting debris, as per the local defense council. People living in the impoverished neighborhood of El Fanguito were ordered to evacuate because of the risk of flooding. Residents of low coastal areas in the province of Artemisa have also been evacuated.
Cuba is already suffering a battered economy and also faces an energy crisis causing lengthy and constant blackouts.
The last major hurricane to affect Cuba was Irma, which hit the island in 2017 as a Category 5 and left 10 dead.
Visit Climate.news for more news related to Hurricane Ian.
Watch the video below that talks about Hurricane Ian and nuclear fallout warnings in NYC subway.
This video is from the Laser-Rus channel on Brighteon.com.