Florida Mobilizes National Guard as Ian Nears Hurricane Strength

As Tropical Storm Ian bears down on Florida, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis mobilized on Sunday state resources, including activating 2,500 national guard troops and urged Floridians to begin preparing for a major weather event that could leave them without power for days.

Residents should also expect gasoline shortages as emergency crews repair service lines during and after the storm.

DeSantis, who already declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm, quoted the latest forecast saying that Ian will make landfall in Taylor County in northern Florida by mid-week.

Though early forecasts showed Ian will hit Florida as a Category 1 storm – with winds up to 95 mph – the National Hurricane Center in Miami stated later that Ian could turn into a major hurricane while passing over the Gulf of Mexico’s warm waters as it heads from the western side of Cuba toward Florida.

A storm is classified as a hurricane when its maximum sustained winds reach 74 mph.

President Biden declared a federal state of emergency for multiple Florida counties on Saturday night, allowing the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to begin coordinating efforts ahead of the storm, canceling at the same time his scheduled to Orlando on Tuesday to campaign in with Democrat Charlie Crist, who is running for governor against DeSantis.

Thanking the White House for its assistance, DeSantis, who routinely criticizes Biden and his administration, added that he’s been in contact with FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell since Friday.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the strengthening Ian is expected to intensify into a hurricane on Monday – and possibly into a high-end Category 4 storm as early as midweek- after its maximum sustained winds had strengthened to 70 mph, up from 45 mph Sunday afternoon while 355 miles southeast of the western tip of Cuba.

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