Authorities and citizens in Florida were keeping a close eye on Tropical Storm Ian as it rumbled across the Caribbean on Sunday.
The storm is anticipated to continue strengthening over the next few days and landfall in Florida as a major hurricane.
The day before, Governor Ron DeSantis expanded an initial order that had covered two dozen counties to include the entire state of Florida.
He advised locals to prepare for a storm that might batter broad areas of the state with torrential rainfall, strong winds, and surging seas.
DeSantis said, “We encourage all Floridians to make their preparations.”
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, and the Department of Homeland Security have been permitted to coordinate disaster relief efforts and offer aid to safeguard lives and property after President Joe Biden also declared an emergency.
Due to the storm, the president’s planned trip to Florida on September 27 was postponed.
By the middle of the week, Ian was forecast to gain power before heading over western Cuba and toward the west coast of Florida and the Florida Panhandle.
The organization warned Floridians to prepare for hurricanes and keep track of information on the storm’s changing course.
At five in the morning, the center updated its warning. The tropical storm was predicted to start “rapidly strengthening later today,” with the “risk of substantial wind and storm surge impacts increasing for western Cuba,” according to the Sunday report.
Ian was predicted to intensify into a hurricane on Sunday and a major hurricane by Monday night. On Sunday morning, the storm whirled about 345 miles (555 kilometers) southeast of Grand Cayman, in the Cayman Islands, with top sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph).
For the island, a hurricane warning is still in effect, and hurricane watches have been issued for western Cuba.