Hurricane Ian swamps southwest Florida


Millions urged to evacuate as Florida Gulf Coast braces for Hurricane Ian

Florida Gulf Coast residents emptied grocery shelves, boarded up windows and fled to evacuation shelters as Hurricane Ian churned closer on Wednesday, lashing the state’s southern tip with tropical storm-force winds hours before it was forecast to make U.S. landfall. Ian, which pummeled Cuba on Tuesday and left the entire Caribbean island nation without power, was expected to crash ashore into Florida on Wednesday evening south of Tampa Bay somewhere between Sarasota and Naples as a potentially deadly Category 4 hurricane. The first hurricane advisory on Wednesday put Ian’s maximum sustained winds near 120 mph (195 km per hour), ranking it a Category 3, but said the storm was expected to strengthen.