Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for his entire state as Tropical Storm Ian gathers strength over the Caribbean and forecasters say it could slam into the Sunshine State early next week.
DeSantis originally issued the order for 24 counties on Friday, but on Saturday widened the declaration to encompass all 67 counties in Florida.
He encouraged residents and local governments to make preparations as the storm moves toward the state. The Florida National Guard has also been activated.
DeSantis has further requested a federal pre-landfall emergency declaration.
‘This storm has the potential to strengthen into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to make their preparations,’ DeSantis said.
Tropical Storm Ian is in the southern Caribbean but is expected to bring heavy rain and intense hurricane winds to the state next week
The storm could begin hitting southern Florida late on Monday or Tuesday morning, with this graphic showing one potential path
DeSantis initially issued the emergency order for two dozen counties on Friday but has now expanded the warning to the entire states 67 counties
There are still various models suggesting which way the storm will track
The storm is expected to strengthen into a category 4 hurricane before striking the Florida coast
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Florida as Tropical Storm Ian gathers strength over the Caribbean
‘We are coordinating with all state and local government partners to track potential impacts of this storm.’
The National Hurricane Centre said Ian is forecast to rapidly strengthen in the coming days before moving over western Cuba and approach Florida next week with major hurricane force.
John Cangialosi, a senior hurricane specialist with National Hurricane Centre in Miami, said it is currently unclear where Ian will hit hardest in Florida and said residents should begin preparing for the storm, including gathering supplies for potential power outages.
‘It’s too soon to say if it’s going to be a south-east Florida problem or a central Florida problem or just the entire state,’ he said to WESH. ‘So, at this point, really the right message for those living in Florida is that you have to watch forecasts and get ready and prepare yourself for potential impact from this tropical system.’
The National Hurricane Center has been tracking Tropical Storm Ian, forecast to strengthen into a hurricane within the next few days
Counties across Central Florida have been preparing for possible impact from the storm
Officials in the Caribbean and Florida are warning residents to prepare for the arrival of Tropical Storm Ian, an intensifying storm that’s expected to grow into a hurricane
The weather system is currently churning southeast of Jamaica and was declared a tropical storm Friday night. It is projected to hit populated areas with heavy rains and high winds starting Sunday
The storm is first expected to hit Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands
Bradley Sierra and his family load plywood to board up their home at Home Depot in St. Cloud, Fla., as they spent Friday stocking up. ‘We got a lot of water, food, gasoline, a generator in case the power goes out,’ he said
Residents in Osceola County, south of Orlando, are already stocking up on plywood boards
Floridians panic bug water at Costco ahead of a possible hurricane which is expected to affect Florida early next week
The storm could begin hitting southern Florida late on Monday or Tuesday morning. It is first expected to hit Jamaica, Cuba and the Cayman Islands, according to the US National Hurricane Center.
An official from Monroe County, whose county seat is Key West – the southern most island of the Florida Keys – told the Miami Herald they had not yet made the decision to order evacuations but could re-evaluate.
Sarasota Mayor Erik Arroyo said the city had been in touch with Florida Power & Light and urged residents to prepare for the storm.
‘Be proactive, contact your doctor, make sure you stock up on your medications,’ he said. ‘Have some water, some basic necessities.’
Two previous launch attempts of the Artemis 1 mission Space Launch System (SLS) were scrapped when the rocket experienced technical glitches including a fuel leak
The storm has prompted NASA to call off its scheduled Tuesday launch of its historic unmanned mission to the Moon due to the storm that.
After two previously canceled launch attempts, NASA is weighing returning the Artemis 1 mission rocket to its assembly site under the threat of extreme weather.
‘NASA is forgoing a launch opportunity… and preparing for rollback (from the launchpad), while continuing to watch the weather forecast associated with Tropical Storm Ian,’ it said on Saturday.
On the launchpad, the giant orange and white Space Launch System (SLS) rocket can withstand wind gusts of up to 85 miles per hour. But if it has to be sheltered, the current launch window, which runs until October 4, will be missed.
If the rocket remains at the pad, Nasa could try for an October 2 launch attempt, the last opportunity before a two-week blackout period.
A rollback late on Sunday or early Monday likely would mean a lengthy delay for the test flight, possibly pushing it into November.
A decision on whether to roll back the rocket to the Vehicle Assembly Building is due to be taken by the Artemis 1 team on Sunday, ‘to allow for additional data gathering and analysis,’ with the operation, if necessary, starting late Sunday or Monday morning, NASA said.
Jim Free, associate administrator for the agency’s exploration systems development directorate, said on Twitter that a ‘step-wise approach’ to the decision to roll back preserves ‘a launch opportunity if conditions improve,’ indicating a launch date before October 5 was still on the table.
If not, the next launch window will run from October 17 to 31, with one possibility of take-off per day, except from October 24-26 and 28.
The Artemis 1 space mission hopes to test the SLS as well as the unmanned Orion capsule that sits atop it, in preparation for future Moon-bound journeys with humans aboard.
It’s the third delay in the past month for Artemis I, the lunar-orbiting test flight featuring mannequins but no astronauts.
The Artemis I rocket may be returned to its hangar because of the threat of tropical storm Ian
Hydrogen fuel leaks and other technical issues caused the previous cancellations.
The Space Launch System rocket is the most powerful ever built by Nasa. Assuming its first test flight goes well, astronauts would climb aboard for the next mission in 2024, leading to a two-person moon landing in 2025.
Artemis is named after the twin sister of the Greek god Apollo, after whom the first Moon missions were named.
Meanwhile, strong rain and winds have been lashing the Atlantic Canada region as a powerful post-tropical cyclone made landfall there, with forecasters earlier warning it could be one of the most severe storms in the county’s history.
Fiona made landfall in Nova Scotia before dawn on Saturday.
More than 500,000 customers in Atlantic Canada have been affected by outages.
Ocean waves pounded the town of Port Aux Basques on the southern coast of Newfoundland, where entire structures were washed into the sea.
A fallen tree lies in front of a Newfoundland power truck parked after the arrival of Hurricane Fiona in Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada on Saturday
A fallen tree lies on a crushed pickup truck following the passing of Hurricane Fiona, later downgraded to a post-tropical storm, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, on Saturday
A fallen tree lies in front of a house’s driveway after the arrival of Hurricane Fiona in Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada on Saturday
A fallen fence lies during the arrival of Hurricane Fiona in Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada on Saturday