Speed Reads

Brace for impact

Florida prepares for impact as Hurricane Ian grows stronger

Hurricane Ian hit Cuba early Tuesday morning, leaving the Pinar del Rio province without power. Meanwhile, Florida is bracing for the storm, which has been predicted to make landfall on Wednesday afternoon, reports ABC News.  

Communities around the Tampa Bay region have been given orders to evacuate in anticipation of heavy winds and storm surges, The Washington Post writes. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has warned of widespread power loss which may last for "a matter of days. It may be more than just a few days. It really depends on the intensity of the storm."

The storm strengthened to a Category 3 storm between Monday and Tuesday, with winds reaching 115 mph, per the Post. By Tuesday morning, winds had picked up to 125 mph. FEMA — the Federal Emergency Management Agency — has been in discussions with DeSantis, and materials and personnel have been moving in to prepare for impact, CNN reports. The White House has also been closely tracking the storm.

"The president underscored his commitment to the people of Florida and made clear that impacted communities will have the full support of the federal government," commented White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

The National Hurricane Center is giving hourly updates on Twitter as to the storm's position.