Hurricane Ian knocked out power to the entire Cuba. At least two people died in the cyclone, which crossed western Cuba as a Category 3 hurricane Tuesday en route to Florida. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the region experienced “significant wind and storm surge impacts,” with top sustained winds of 125 mph. The Electrical Union of Cuba said Tuesday evening crews would work through the night to restore power. Cuban President Miguel Díaz Canel visited Pinar del Río after the storm passed. “The damages are great, although they have not yet been accounted,” he tweeted. “The most complex situation is in Pinar del Río, where all transmission networks are out of service, and there is much damage to transformers and secondary networks,” the Communist Party newspaper Granma said. Before Ian made landfall, officials in Pinar del Rio set up 55 shelters, evacuated 50,000 people. Hurricane Ian is now threatening Florida.
The storm’s center is forecast to approach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday afternoon and into Wednesday night, according to the National Hurricane Center. More than 2.5 million people in Florida are under some kind of evacuation order. The latest forecasts show the storm surge could be highest , eight to 12 feet , in a roughly 90-mile area stretching from just south of Tampa Bay to south of Fort Myers. That area is expected to see extremely heavy rain. the ground is already saturated from rains in the last two months. Flight cancellations mounted as some airports in the state suspended operations. Mr. DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Florida. The Federal Emergency Management Agency also said it was repositioning supplies and personnel ahead of the storm. States beyond Florida were also preparing for Ian.