Residents of Florida's Gulf Coast on Tuesday boarded up their homes, packed up their vehicles and headed for higher ground as Hurricane Ian drew near, threatening to bring a deadly storm surge and more than a foot of rain to some areas, Trend reports citing Reuters.
Before heading to Florida, Hurricane Ian slammed into Cuba, forcing evacuations, cutting power to hundreds of thousands of people and swamping fishing villages.
Some 2.5 million Floridians were under evacuation orders or warnings with the sprawling storm on track to make landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on Wednesday evening somewhere along the Gulf Coast. A Category 3 storm features maximum sustained winds of up to 129 miles per hour (208 km per hour).
The area south of Tampa near Sarasota was the most likely place for the eye to come ashore, the National Hurricane Center said on Tuesday afternoon, while stressing that it was too early to be sure. That region - home to miles of sandy beaches and scores of resort hotels - is a favorite with retirees and vacationers alike.