Watch: Gov. Ron DeSantis gives update as Hurricane Ian strengthens to Category 4 | USA TODAY

Hurricane Ian strengthened into an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds at 140 mph, and is expected to cause life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and flooding in the Florida Peninsula, the National Hurricane Center said Wednesday.

RELATED: Hurricane Ian nears Florida, DeSantis declares state of emergency

Tornadoes also are a risk and several warnings and watches have been issued around the state into Wednesday morning as rain bands move across Florida.

Ian slammed into Cuba Tuesday, a Category 3 monster pounding the island with 125 mph winds. High winds and storm surge are still expected farther north into the Tampa Bay region, state Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said.

Hundreds of thousands of Floridians faced mandatory evacuation orders as the National Hurricane Center expanded its hurricane warning along more than 150 miles of the state's Gulf Coast. Power outages can be expected statewide, Florida Power & Light warned.

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  1. He hates federal govt but will be begging for federal money to rebuild his pitiful state. I live in alabama and will never visit or spend another alabama dollar in that state. Elect idiots lose tourism. My jew favorite beach is gulf shores here in alabama, later florida.

    1. Why does politics matter right now? This is a potentially catastrophic event for people. Seriously, try to support fellow Americans. Who cares about politics right now. Federal gov responded before even a hurricane and also DeSantis has done an excellent job and all the emergency preparedness people have been in high drive working hard. Have some respect.

    2. @Jessica Pudder cause you bash the very ones who are going to bale you out again and again and again. Politics is why you get billions of our tax dollars to save you. Be thankful say thanks and quit bashing the ones helping you. Once i wish a gop gov. Who says the want to secede from usa would, be bankrupt in 1 yr. Fed dollars is large chunk of your budget not to mentions billions we spend yr after yr to rebuild your state after hurricanes

  2. Hunkering down on a little island in Florida now. Gonna be an interesting few days. But hey, if things go terribly wrong, maybe that last president aka Chester Cheater, will come throw some paper towels at us

  3. Welcome to climeate change baby. This is the first, not the last of major storms to begin hitting the west side. We haven’t been hit like this in 100 years

    1. Welcome to weather baby. This is what it does, what it has always done and what it will always do…no matter what the ‘experts’ tell us

  4. This your punishment DeSantis for sending immigrants north without permission and causing them unnecessary suffering

  5. This ones gonna be a bad one cat 4 nearly 5 and slow moving. Micheal was at least a fast mover and didn’t stay over one area for more than four hours. Still a nightmare but these slow ones , or what I call a marinating hurricane. they are the worst.

  6. Hey, why didn’t the governor charter 100 planes to save Florida citizens?? He cares about citizens more than immigrants right??

  7. WOW! Folks leaving to escape possible death and destruction, because of circumstances out of their control. 🤔…….Stay safe, folks!

    1. Totally in their control, jeez live on beach or near it in south this happens every year and has forever. Move inland. Sorry but this is like sympathy for folks living near volcanoe, or in desert, you know the risk so deal with it or move. And before you say some cannot afford it, do you know the cost of property in florida, it is crazy. You can live many safer places cheaper. Live on coast you are just stupid if you do not know risk. Hurricanes come many times every year, not like this is some crazy once in lifetime event, it is normal.

    2. @RT22 or more reasons to offer your thoughts and prayers to allllll those displaced families! Great observation! You couldn’t have said it any better!? 🙏🏻

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