Hurricane Ian: Florida Cancels Classes, Grounds Flights as Major Storm Approaches

by Shelby Scott
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(Photo by Camerique/ClassicStock/Getty Images)

Photos taken aboard the International Space Station (ISS) capture the true size of Hurricane Ian, which is headed toward southern Florida. As of now, weather conditions amid the approaching storm are growing even more intense. At the moment, hurricane watches and warnings cover much of the Sunshine State. In response, officials have begun canceling classes, closing schools, and grounding flights in anticipation of Ian’s impact.

According to the New York Post, Hurricane Ian is now a Category 3 hurricane. The massive storm system boasts wind speeds reaching 125 miles per hour. The hurricane made landfall at 4:30 a.m. Tuesday in Cuba.

As Cubans batten down for what could be one of the most intense hurricanes of the season, Floridians are hard at work making preparations for when Ian eventually makes contact with the coast.

Per a recent update from FL Governor Ron DeSantis, two dozen counties statewide issued school closures early Tuesday morning. Colleges and universities across the state have also canceled classes or closed entirely in anticipation of Hurricane Ian. Head to flgov.com for an updated list of school closures and dismissals.

Further, the news outlet states traffic on major highways remains at a standstill. So far, more than 300,000 Floridians have been forced to evacuate ahead of the storm’s approach. People began evacuating as early as 10 p.m. Monday night. Grounded flights will certainly have an impact on the rate of evacuations as well.

Hurricane Ian to Hit Tampa Hardest

Hurricane watches and warnings remain in effect indefinitely at this point for much of the state of FL. However, forecasters are predicting Tampa could be one of the hardest hit locations. Per the governor’s updates, Tampa Bay is one of several locations currently under a hurricane warning. It’s also expected to see some serious storm surges, with tides potentially reaching a dangerous 10 feet above average.

Per the outlet, Tampa International Airport will shut down and suspend all incoming and outgoing flights by 5 p.m. Tuesday. The closures are intended to allow personnel to prepare for Hurricane Ian’s approach by preparing the airfield and securing any equipment.

While evacuations remain ongoing for many residents across the state, residents in Tampa, as well as in Hillsborough, Sarasota, Pinellas, Charlotte, and Hernando counties, received a mandatory evacuation order.

In addition, Hurricane Ian has not only affected everyday proceedings like flights and classes; it’s also heavily affected Disney World attractions and NFL practices and games alike. Ahead of Hurricane Ian’s approach on Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were forced to move their practice from Tampa to Miami, but it remains uncertain whether the team will even get to play against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday. Instead, it’s looking more and more like the game will either be rescheduled or relocated.

Meanwhile, Disney World had to close multiple resorts across the park. Closures, at this point, remain in effect through Friday.

Outsider.com