Fears storm will become major hurricane
- Gov. Ron DeSantis declared a state of emergency for 24 Florida counties on Friday ahead of a possible major hurricane
- Tropical Storm Ian developed early on Friday and official forecasts expect it to turn into a Category 3 hurricane by early next week
- ‘This storm has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to make their preparations,’ DeSantis said
- The possible hurricane has ‘the potential for dangerous storm surge, heavy rainfall, strong winds and flash flooding’
PUBLISHED: 11:03 AEST, 24 September 2022 | UPDATED: 15:33 AEST, 24 September 2022
Florida is preparing for the possibility of a major hurricane as Tropical Storm Ian edges closer to the state, causing Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency for 24 counties.
Tropical Storm Ian developed early on Friday. Official forecasts expect it to turn into a Category 3 hurricane by next Wednesday, which could mean Floridians will be slammed by winds up to 130 mph.
The track of the Tropical Storm is very similar to that of Hurricane Charley, which ravaged Florida in 2004, killing 15 people and causing more than $16 billion in damage.
The Florida Keys and southern parts of the state are most likely to be in the crosshairs, though it is too early to tell where and when the storm will make landfall.
Tropical Storm Ian, bottom right, is currently gaining intensity over the Caribbean and threatens to make landfall in Florida next week
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis issues an emergency declaration for the storm and said ‘we encourage all Floridians to make their preparations’
‘This storm has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to make their preparations,’ DeSantis said in his emergency declaration announcement.
He also said it ‘will make available important resources and support, as well as free up funding sources for emergency protective measure,’ along with activating the Florida National Guard.
‘We are coordinating with all state and local government partners to track potential impacts of this storm,’ the governor added.
The statement also warned Floridians ‘to begin preparing and ensuring their family emergency supply kit is ready and stocked with food, water, and medicine.’
It also said the possible hurricane has ‘the potential for dangerous storm surge, heavy rainfall, strong winds, flash flooding, and the potential for isolated tornadic activity.’
Floridians panic buy water at Costco ahead of a possible major hurricane, which is expected to affect Florida early next week
The counties where DeSantis has declared an emergency
The storm is currently hovering over parts of the western Caribbean and several factors there including warm waters and moisture levels mean the storm could rapidly intensify from Sunday to Monday.
Tropical storm and hurricane watches have also been issued for parts of the Caribbean.
A hurricane watch has also been issued for the Cayman Islands while Jamaica has issues a tropical storm watch.
Flooding rains are possible in the area by Monday or Tuesday, the Weather Channel reported, which may cause mudslides in some areas of Jamaica or Cuba.
Storm surge floods of up to 3 feet above normal tides may occur in the Cayman Islands, and the Islands may see up to 14 inches of rain along with Jamaica.
Florida has fared better than usual in terms of hurricanes over the past few years, as nearby Louisiana has been battered repeatedly.
The storm threatens to be Florida’s biggest issue since Hurricane Dorian three years ago.
The storm also threatens to derail a NASA launch for a new moon rocket that has already experienced weeks of delays due to fuel leaks.
Managers on Friday declared that the rocket is now ready to blast off on its first test flight.
But teams will keep monitoring the forecast and decide by Saturday whether to delay the test flight and haul the rocket off the pad and back to the hangar.
The preference is to remain at the launch pad and try for a Tuesday liftoff, ‘but there are still some uncertainties in the forecast,’ said NASA’s Tom Whitmeyer, deputy associate administrator for exploration systems.
Panic buying for food begins in Nova Scotia and locals pile sand bags high before 135 mph Hurricane Fiona makes landfall early Saturday as one of strongest storms EVER to hit Canada
Hurricane Fiona is expected to batter Canada‘s eastern coast early Saturday, and has been upgraded to a Category 4 storm as Canadians stock up on food and barricade their homes in preparation.
The hurricane is expected to touch down in Canada’s Nova Scotia, and also effect Prince Edward Island as well as Newfoundland.
It will bring wind speeds of up to 130 mph, relentless rain and a strong likelihood of flooding.
The Canadian Hurricane Center has estimated the storm surges could be as deep as 6-8 feet and coastal waves as high as 40 feet in some areas, as Canadians brace for a storm stronger than any they’ve seen in 50 years.
Canada’s government warns rain could exceed seven inches in areas of Fiona’s track and warned that ‘road washouts are possible’. They say residents should have enough supplies at home for 72 hours
‘Every Nova Scotian should be preparing today,’ John Lohr of the Emergency Management Office of Nova Scotia said
Pedestrians in Halifax are already feeling the rain on Friday as the eastern coast of Canada is expected to see upwards of 7 inches of rain
A sign in the window of a storefront on the Halifax waterfront is seen ahead of Hurricane Fiona as the storm closes in to make landfall on Saturday
Immediate efforts should be taken to protect belongings. Avoid shorelines, waves are extremely dangerous. Residents in those regions should be prepared to move out if needed,’ read an emergency alert sent by officials in Prince Edward Island.
While Fiona is expected to weaken slightly before hitting mainland Canada, meteorologists warn it won’t be a significant slow and to keep treating the storm seriously.
‘All that momentum is trapped within the storm, so it’s very difficult for something like that to actually wind down,’ Canadian Hurricane Centre meteorologist Bob Robichaud said.
‘It’s a major hurricane, and it’s only 900 kilometers away from us, and it’s getting bigger,’ he added.
‘We have been through these types of events before, but my fear is, not to this extent,’ Amanda McDougall, mayor of Cape Breton Regional Municipality said.
Hurricanes in Canada are somewhat rare, in part because once the storms reach colder waters, they lose their main source of energy.
The storm has so far killed five people – two in Puerto Rico, two in the Dominican Republic and one in the French island of Guadeloupe.
Fiona then made its way to Bermuda where residents were seen boarding up windows and taking shelter before the hurricane’s arrival.
Fiona hit the island on Thursday as a Category 4 storm, but despite being downgraded, the hurricane continues to threaten the Caribbean islands as it heads to Canada.