The entire west coast of Florida, from the Keys to the capital, Tallahassee in the far north, is preparing for the arrival of a hurricane Ian Which could reach Class 4 strength within the next few hours.
Posted at 1:58 p.m.
“We’ve already been preparing for two days, notes the mayor of Key West, Terry Johnston, who’s joined Journalism Monday morning. We ask people to have a seven-day reserve: water, food, medicine. If they have a generator, let them check that it is in good condition. In the municipality, all our non-essential cars were housed in a raised garage. We cleaned storm drains. And about every three hours, we communicate with citizens to inform them of the development of the situation. »
What happens in Key West is repeated in many cities, large and small, in Florida. And so, in Tampa, Mayor Jane Castor talked about the evacuations going on near the coast. The latter said on CNN: “We’ve been asking people from all over Area A that’s on the edge of the coast to prepare to leave. We only have 126 miles (203 kilometers) from our city’s waterfront. People don’t need to go far, but they do. About the coast, because the first concern is the storm, which can reach a height of 2.4 metres. »
Cyclone Ian Formed in the Caribbean and passed the Cayman Islands on Monday morning. It is now on its way to the western tip of Cuba and will make landfall around 8 a.m. Tuesday in the Guanahacapipes peninsula. The southern part of Florida will be reached from Tuesday evening.
In the Tampa area, 25 cm of rain is expected with peaks of up to 40 cm in places. Residents rushed to get supplies, water, food and sandbags.
NASA did not take any risks and decided to return its huge Artemis-1 rocket with a height of 98 meters to its hangar. Due to technical problems, the launch of the rocket has already been postponed several times. The decision to bring it back into the fold was “the right one,” NASA associate administrator Jim Frey said in a tweet.
At a news conference Monday morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said 5,000 National Guard personnel are on high alert and another 2,000 National Guard personnel from Tennessee, Georgia and North Carolina are ready to intervene. “There is no reason to panic, but be prepared,” the governor said.
However, it is in Key West, in the far south of the state, where you will feel the storm first. Key West has a population of 26,000 to which, at present, about 20,000 tourists are added, including many Canadians.
At this time, we have not announced an eviction order. So the tourists are still here, says Mayor Johnston. The storm is expected to be strong and we expect a lot of local rain, wind and flooding, which can be up to one metre. What worries me most are the people who live on the boats. They must return to Earth and seek refuge. The port will be closed Monday evening at 10 pm by the Coast Guard. It is better for people to come back. »
In Quebec, tour operators and airlines are also closely monitoring the situation.
“We had a flight to Cuba (Santa Clara/Cayo Coco) on Sunday, which is why we implemented our hurricane policy,” said Bernard Coty, director of marketing, public relations and social media for Transat. We have set up an indoor unit to monitor the situation and we talk to each other several times a day. If there is a danger that a hurricane will affect our passengers, we contact them. »
In such a case, Transat can send an aircraft to pick up customers at the site in advance or change the dates of future flights. “We don’t want people to go to dangerous places. The priority is everyone’s safety,” says Mr. Côte.
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