At a news conference Sunday morning, Gov. Ron DeSantis urged all Floridians to continue watching Ian closely.
“It’s really important to stress the uncertainty that still exists,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in Tallahassee.
“Don’t think that if you’re not in that eye that somehow you don’t have to make preparations,” DeSantis said Sunday. “The last thing we want to see is to have it head east quickly and folks are not prepared.”
As of noon Sunday, there were no watches, warnings or evacuations ordered in the state. DeSantis said his emergency managers are in touch with local officials who will make the call on evacuations in their areas.
With Hurricane Irma in 2017, another storm that was difficult to forecast, DeSantis said “there was an over-evacuation. When we put people on the road, that’s not cost free. There’s traffic, there’s fatalities on the road, so you want to be very careful about doing that.
“At the same time,” he said, “if you have vulnerable populations in like a Pinellas County where you have mobile homes, senior facilities, you want to make sure they’re getting to safety.”
11 a.m. update I Effects on Sarasota-Bradenton still uncertain; Hurricane Ian expected to rapidly intensify
The National Hurricane Center made no significant change to the track of future Hurricane Ian at the 11 a.m. advisory, but continues to warn residents in west-central Florida that the forecast track is uncertain after the next 48 hours. Major hurricane models remain in disagreement, with some taking the storm west into the Panhandle and others bringing it to the west coast near Sarasota and Bradenton.
Forecasters continue to warn that Ian, currently a tropical storm, is likely to undergo rapid intensification during the next two to three days. It is currently forecast to be a major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico with winds reaching 130 mph.
A storm of that magnitude will have effects on areas well distant from where the center makes landfall.
“The intensity guidance remains very aggressive with strengthening Ian, and the NHC forecast reflects this potential,” the center said in its latest advisory
The latest on Tropical Storm Ian:
- Location: About 300 mile south-southeast of Grand Cayman
- Maximum sustained winds: 50 mph
- Present movement: WNW at 14 mph
- Central pressure: 1001 MB
A turn to the northwest is expected later Sunday, followed by a north-northwestward motion on Monday, and a turn to the north on Tuesday, the NHC said. Along the forecast track, Ian is expected to pass over the western tip of Cuba and enter the Gulf of Mexico before moving north toward the western or northwestern U.S. Gulf Coast.
On the forecast track, the center of Ian is forecast to pass well southwest of Jamaica today, and pass near or west of the Cayman Islands early Monday.
Much of Florida’s Gulf Coast remains in Ian’s “cone of uncertainty,” with a hurricane possibly making landfall between Fort Myers and the Panhandle next week. Residents in Florida are urged to keep an eye on this storm and have hurricane plans in place.
Watching Tropical Storm Ian
Tropical Storm Ian was expected to strengthen rapidly as it moves west-northwest over the western Caribbean Sea Sunday and Monday. Forecasters at the National Hurricane Center expect Ian to become a hurricane Sunday night or early Monday, and a major hurricane by early Tuesday. A major hurricane is a storm of category 3 or higher, with maximum sustained winds of at least 111 mph.
A turn to the northwest is expected later Sunday, followed by a turn to the north-northwest on Monday, and a turn to the north on Tuesday, the NHC said. Along the forecast track, Ian is expected to pass over the western tip of Cuba and enter the Gulf of Mexico before moving north toward the western or northwestern U.S. Gulf Coast.
Here are updates for the Sarasota-Manatee area.
Preparing for Ian:Sarasota, Manatee county brace for potential Hurricane Ian
Major hurricane predicted:Tropical Storm Ian threatens Florida’s west coast; forecast to become hurricane by Sunday
Rick Piccolo, the president and CEO of Sarasota Bradenton International Airport, advised flyers to check frequently with their airline for updates on their flights and to keep track of the storm.
He said airlines will make their own decisions about when they want to stop serving the airport. Piccolo added that if wind speeds reach 35 to 40 knots, his team would close the airport and private aircraft couldn’t land there.
On Monday, airport staff will meet with representatives of the airlines and airport tenants to discuss SRQ’s hurricane plan.
President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for the state of Florida late Saturday, making federal emergency aid available in advance of Tropical Storm Ian. The action authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts in 24 counties, including Sarasota and Manatee. Saturday, Gov. Ron DeSantis expanded his state of emergency declaration to include all 67 of Florida’s counties.
DeSantis has scheduled a news conference at 11 a.m. at the state Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee that will include the Florida Department of Emergency Management and FEMA officials to discuss the storm.
Manatee County previously opened self-serve sandbag filling at these locations:
- Bennett Park, 400 Cypress Creek Blvd, Bradenton
- Rubonia Community Center, 1309 72nd St. E., Palmetto
- Myakka Community Center, 10060 Wauchula Road, Myakka City
- JUST ADDED: Buffalo Creek Park, 7550 69th St E, Palmetto
Manatee County will also have three locations for picking up pre-made sandbags:
- Manatee Beach, 4000 Gulf Drive, Holmes Beach (Northwest Parking lot)
- Bayfront Park, 310 North Bay Blvd. Anna Maria (North end by the recycling center)
- Coquina Beach, 2650 Gulf Drive, Bradenton Beach (South Bayside near the guardrail)
Starting Sunday, the county is adding full-service sandbag distribution at:
- G.T. Bray Park, 5502 33rd Ave. Dr. W, Bradenton
- Bradenton Area Convention Center, 1 Haben Blvd., Palmetto
All locations will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
The City of Venice Public Works Department will have sandbags available for residents beginning today, Sunday, Sept. 25, from noon to 6 p.m. at Wellfield Park off Pinebrook Road.
These are self-filling stations. There is a limit of 10 sandbags per household while supplies last and shovels will be provided. Residents are encouraged to bring their own bags in case the city runs out, as well as their own shovels to expedite the process.
Sarasota County will also begin sandbag operations today, Sunday, Sept. 25 from noon to 6 p.m. at three locations.
- Ed Smith Stadium, 2700 12th Street, Sarasota.
- Twin Lakes Park, 6700 Clark Road, Sarasota.
- South County Fleet, 4571 SR 776/Englewood Road, Venice.
Shovels and bags will be available on-site, limit 10 sandbags per vehicle.
Sarasota’s sandbag operations are also planned for Monday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The City of North Port will have a self-serve sandbag facility at the athletic fields behind the George Mullen Activity Center, 1602 Kramer Way. It opens at noon and bags, sand and shovels will be provided.
The Town of Longboat Key is planning to staff a sand and bag station at Broadway Beach Access on Sunday from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. and again on Monday beginning at 8 a.m.
The National Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m. advisory keeps Tropical Storm Ian on a more western track farther from the Sarasota-Bradenton area. However, forecasters caution that their two most reliable models, the European and the GFS, are still showing very different paths for the storm.
The European model has consistently shown a more easterly track for Ian, and its most recent run showed a direct impact in west central Florida, which would have major effects in Manatee and Sarasota counties. The GFS model takes the storm on a more westerly track into the Panhandle.
“It cannot be overstated that significant uncertainty remains in Ian’s long-range prediction,” the hurricane center said in its 5 a.m. discussion. The hurricane center said it hopes that additional data now being collected around the storm now could reduce some of the spread in the models.
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Tropical Storm Ian: Find all of our latest coverage of the storm
How strong will Hurricane Ian be?
More consistent are predictions of rapid intensification of the storm, starting later Sunday. The hurricane center forecast calls for Ian to be a major hurricane when it nears western Cuba in about 48 hours.
“Once the circulation become more vertically coherent, low vertical wind shear conditions and high ocean heat content are expected to allow for rapid intensification while Ian moves over the northwestern Caribbean Sea,” the hurricane center said.
Its 5 a.m. advisory called for Ian to reach Category 4 strength with winds of 140 mph by early Wednesday in the Gulf of Mexico. Under the current forecast, the hurricane could encounter some wind shear in the northern Gulf before making landfall early Friday
Stay up to date on the storm: Download the updated Herald-Tribune app
Hurricane Shelters: Where are Sarasota-Manatee hurricane shelters? When should I go?
When will Hurricane Ian be close to Sarasota-Bradenton?
No storm watches or warnings are in effect in Florida as of Sunday morning. Hurricane warnings have been posted for Grand Cayman and a hurricane watch is in effect for parts of Cuba. A Tropical Storm watch is in effect in other parts of Cuba and the Cayman islands.
Hurricane Guide: What do you need to know before a big storm?
The current NHC track would have the storm moving north of Cuba Tuesday afternoon and entering the Gulf. Its closest approach to our area currently is forecast to be late Wednesday or early Thursday. Effects of a large, major storm can be felt many miles from the center, and a small change in course to the east and the west coast of Florida could intensify the storms effects.
This story will be updated.
Read More: Track still uncertain for Sarasota area