TAMPA, Fla. (WGHP) — Landfall is imminent, and the Florida peninsula is bracing for impact from Hurricane Ian.
On Tuesday, Erwin Martinez, Tatiana Rodriguez and Alfonso Rojas were out at a beach near Tampa filling bags with sand.
In Sarasota, Nela Schroeder put workout mats over the windows of his home, hoping they will shield the glass from powerful winds and anything that they might pick up.
He said he evacuated for Hurricane Irma, but he’s not planning to evacuate this time.
On Wednesday morning, some in Saint Petersburg carried on as usual, running along the pier amid gray skies.
As of about 8 a.m. Wednesday, Ian was 55 miles west of Naples, Florida, and 60 miles southwest of Punta Gorda, Florida, heading north-northeast at 10 mph. Maximum sustained winds clocked in at 155 mph, making the storm an “extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane,” according to the National Hurricane Center.
Ian is expected to make landfall as a major Category 4 hurricane on Wednesday, according to WFLA. Model data showed Ian continue to shift further to the south and east, moving Tampa Bay out of the line of a direct hit.
In an updated statement at 9 a.m., the NHC said conditions are rapidly deteriorating along the southwest Florida coast as recent data indicated that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 155 mph.