Live updates: Hurricane Ian heads toward Florida

Hurricane Ian is expected to pass west of the Florida Keys late Tuesday and approach the west coast of Florida late Wednesday into Thursday.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned of power outages as well as possible evacuations and fuel shortages, telling people to “make preparations now.”

Here’s what you should know now:

A hurricane warning is in place from Bonita Beach to the Anclote River, including Tampa Bay, according to the latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center. This means that “hurricane conditions are expected somewhere within the warning area, in this case, within 24 to 36 hours,” the center said.

A tropical storm warning was issued for the Middle Florida Keys and portions of the state’s east and west coasts.

A tropical storm watch was issued for the southeast coast from Deerfield Beach north to Jupiter Inlet, the hurricane center said.

Mandatory evacuations orders have been issued for parts of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, and emergency shelters were opened.

“When we issued that mandatory evacuation, what that means is if you don’t and you call for help, we’re not coming because we’re not going to put our people in harm’s way and put them in peril because you didn’t listen to what we told you to do,” said Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri.

All along Florida’s west coast, officials are urging residents to get out of harm’s way instead of staying to protect their property. Here are some other evacuation orders:

  • Evacuation orders also went into effect for low-lying areas of Charlotte County as well as the counties of Sarasota, Hernando and Manatee.
  • Floridians should expect more evacuations Tuesday for counties north of the bay, inland and some south of the bay, said Kevin Guthrie, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

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