As Hurricane Ian gains strength and gets closer to the state of Florida, with impacts already being felt in many areas, we’re bringing you the most up-to-date information on impacts in the Tampa Bay area.
Latest NHC Update
- Winds: 90 mph
- Strength: Category 1
- Position: 70 miles south of Orlando, Florida
- Movement: North-northeast at 8 miles per hour
Wednesday, September 28
Manatee County stated that they are beginning recovery efforts by delivering fuel to shelters, mobilizing utility crews to restore wastewater service and more.
The number of Floridians without power surpassed 2 million, according to poweroutage.us.
Polk County announces that “tragic incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning are starting to emerge.” Click HERE for tips on how to use a generator and generator safety.
AdventHealth Zephyrhills announced a Sumter County mother delivered a baby in the parking lot during Hurricane Ian.
“Both baby Kieralynn and mom are doing well. The baby’s parents say they are grateful for the care they received and will share this story with their little princess for years to come.”
Spectrum opens out-of-home WiFi access points to aid Hurricane Ian response. To view a map of access points, visit spectrum.com/internet/wifi-access-points.
Governor DeSantis said the next few hours are going to be critical.
“We’re very concerned about anybody who may be personally in jeopardy, and then obviously, you know, we’re bracing for a lot of physical damage to some of the infrastructure in the communities,” DeSantis said.
When asked what the message for southwest Florida would be, DeSantis again asked people to stay put.
“There’s going to be a lot of work that needs to be done, the state of Florida is going to be there. We understand that there’s going to be relief efforts that are going to be needed immediately. We also understand there’s going to be longer term needs to support the community,” DeSantis said.
We apologize for the loss of coverage. Our internet services have been restored and we’re bringing everything back online.
ABC Action News has suffered a complete internet outage. We are working as quickly as possible to get service back online.
The number of outages in Florida topped a million about an hour after Hurricane Ian came ashore, per poweroutage.us.
Hurricane Ian makes landfall as a Category 4 storm in Cayo Costa, Florida.
Tampa Police Department urges residents to NOT venture out at this time for sightseeing.
“Officers are seeing a continuously growing number of individuals parking in the middle of the roadway on Bayshore Boulevard in South Tampa and walking down into the bay due to low tide pushing out the water. This is unsafe, as the water could return unexpectedly.”
Hillsborough County closes all courthouse facilities of the Thirteenth Judicial Court through Friday, Sept. 30
Sarasota County said emergency vehicles are no longer responding to calls in the county due to the rapidly deteriorating weather conditions. They encouraged residents to remain sheltered in place.
AT&T waives talk, text and data overage charges for wireless customers connected in areas that may be affected by Hurricane Ian.
Manatee County tweeted they are on lockdown. All shelters and EOC have shut their doors in advance of Ian. First responders are also locking down as the storm moves over the area. Emergency response will not be available until the storm subsides.
BayCare sent an update on its facilities around the area that are closed or open as a result of Hurricane Ian.
- Visitation in all BayCare hospitals will close at 5 p.m. today. Obstetric, neonatal intensive care units and pediatrics may have one visitor throughout the storm. Other patients with special needs should talk with nursing team.
- Morton Plant North Bay in New Port Richey closed is closed.
- Bardmoor Emergency Department in Largo is closed.
At this time, all other hospital locations will remain open. In Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties:
- Elective procedures are closed, effective Wednesday, Sept. 28.
- Outpatient Rehabilitation Services are closed, effective Wednesday, Sept. 28. Outpatient Wound Care Services are closed, effective Wednesday, Sept. 28.
- In Polk County, elective procedures are closed.
In Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties:
- BayCare Medical Group offices are closed. Patients with scheduled appointments on Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 28 and 29, will be contacted by the office to reschedule or schedule a telehealth visit.
- BayCare Urgent Care locations are closed.
- BayCare Outpatient Imaging are closed.
- BayCare Ambulatory Surgery Centers are closed.
- BayCare Laboratory Patient Collection Centers are closed.
- BayCare Outpatient Centers are closed
- BayCare HealthHubs are closed.
- BayCare Fitness Centers are closed.
- BayCare Behavioral Health Outpatient services are closed.
- BayCare HomeCare offices in all 13 counties are closed and home visits, extended care visits and home deliveries are paused until they can safely resume. All call lines remain operational, as possible.
- Walk-in Care at Publix is closed.
In Polk County:
- BayCare Medical Group offices will be closed after noon on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
- BayCare Urgent Care is closing at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
- BayCare Laboratory Patient Collection Centers are closing at noon on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
- Walk-in Care at Publix will close at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 28.
Waters in Tampa Bay have started to recede ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Ian. The storm currently has maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour.
Hurricane Ian pulls water out of Tampa Bay
A reminder, DO NOT walk out into the areas where water has been pulled back from the bay.
? STOP: Do not walk out into receding water in Tampa Bay or Charlotte Harbor – the water WILL return through storm surge and poses a life-threatening risk.
— FL Division of Emergency Management (@FLSERT) September 28, 2022
During a press conference at the State Emergency Operations Center, Gov. DeSantis said that it’s no longer safe to evacuate in southwest Florida, especially in Charlotte County, where Ian is forecast to make landfall later this morning.
“It’s time to hunker down and prepare for this storm,” DeSantis said. “This is a powerful storm that should be treated like you would treat a tornado approaching your home.”
Press conference: Gov. Ron DeSantis discusses Hurricane Ian as it gets closer to the state
Sunshine Skyway Bridge closed due to high winds. The bridge will remain closed until the storm passes.
Barrier islands in Pinellas open for people with passes, the sheriff’s office said.
Some power outages are beginning to be reported across the Tampa Bay area.
Duke Energy is reporting:
- Highlands County: Five active outages, affecting 1,495 customers.
- Pinellas County: Seven active outages, affecting 519 customers
Florida Power and Light:
- Sarasota County: 1,270 people without power
- Manatee County: 470 people without power
The National Hurricane Center said conditions are “rapidly deteriorating” along the southwest Florida coast.
After Hurricane Ian strengthened into a Category 4 storm around 5 a.m., a Tornado Watch was issued for several Tampa Bay area counties until 5 p.m.
- DeSoto County
- Hardee County
- Highlands County
- Manatee County
- Polk County
- Sarasota County
Tuesday, September 27
Seminole Hard Rock Casino Tampa will close Wednesday, September 28 at 8 a.m. The hotel will remain open with limited guest services for current hotel guests.
Tampa VA Outpatient Clinic has closed and will suspend services Wednesday, September 28 and Thursday, September 29. The Emergency Department and Inpatient Services will remain open on both days.
Sarasota County has closed the Siesta and John Ringling Causeway bridges and entry to the islands has been restricted.
GoPasco will suspend all fixed route bus services on Wednesday, September 28 and Thursday, September 29. Services may resume on Friday based on road conditions.
Verizon is providing unlimited free calling, texting and data to customers forecast to be hit the hardest by Hurricane Ian from September 28 through October 4. Accounts with billing addresses in the following Florida counties are included:
Department of Children and Families is releasing food assistance benefits earlier than scheduled. Recipients who are scheduled to receive benefits from October 1 to October 14 are now receiving benefits automatically on to their EBT cards.
Walt Disney World announced that its theme parks and water parks will be closed from Wednesday, September 28 to Thursday, September 29.
Disney Springs will be closed Wednesday, September 28. They also expect to be closed on Thursday, September 29 but said they are monitoring the weather before making a decision.
Hillsborough Transit Authority announced it would continue to operate routes in the Mandatory Evacuation Zones until 9 p.m. Tuesday. Routes outside of the Mandatory Evacuation Zone will continue operating until further notice
DoorDash will suspend all operations in the following areas from starting at 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 27:
- Fort Myers
- Cape Coral
- Key West
- Saint Petersburg
- Fort Lauderdale
- Daytona Beach
- West Palm Beach
- Port St. Lucie
Publix said its stores along the Gulf coast (highlighted in the map below) will be closing at 6 p.m. Tuesday due to the expected landfall and impacts of Hurricane Ian.
Pinellas County officials said the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority will suspend all fixed route service beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday. PSTA will continue helping with evacuations until winds reach a sustained speed of 40 miles per hour.
All Moffitt Cancer Center locations will be closed Wednesday, Sept. 28, and Thursday, Sept. 29. With the exception of scheduled virtual health visits, all appointments during this time have been canceled. Moffitt will contact patients to reschedule. Patients are encouraged to monitor Moffitt.org/hurricane, the patient portal, the patient hotline at 813-745-3500 and Moffitt’s social media platforms for the latest.
ALL sandbag distribution has ended in Highlands County as all supplies have been handed out.
Hardee County announces the opening of two shelters.
The University of South Florida game against East Carolina scheduled for Saturday, October 1, has been moved to FAU’s stadium in Boca Raton.
The Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART) announced it will operate fare-free in zones with mandatory evacuations until 9 p.m. For more information, visit GoHart.org or call HART Customer Service at (813) 254-4278.
Citrus County Schools announce closures through Friday, Sept. 30
Hernando County announces mandatory evacuation order for Tuesday at 9. a.m. all residents in low-lying areas, manufactured homes, and everyone west of U.S. 19
- Includes Zones A, B, and C
Citrus County announces Mandatory evacuation order for Zone A; includes all low-lying areas west of U.S. Highway 19 and some additional areas east of U.S. Highway 19.
Hillsborough County sandbag locations are at-capacity. The county said if you are not in a line, do not drive to a site.
Tampa International Airport officials held a Tuesday morning press conference reiterating the facility will close to flights starting at 5 p.m. Airport officials said 120 employees will ride out the storm at the facility and as soon as it is safe, they will immediately begin assessing when the airport could reopen.
According to TPA officials, the economic impact of the closure will be in the millions of dollars and they will lose roughly 900 flights on Wednesday and Thursday. Officials at TPA said they are monitoring the water and said to their knowledge, the facility has never faced a storm of this magnitude.
TPA is NOT a shelter and said they could not handle the storage of vehicles at the facility. Any passenger cars already at the facility will be secure.
Tampa International Airport officials give an update on Hurricane Ian preps
Treasure Island Police are now limiting traffic onto Treasure Island.
The following citizens will have access to barrier islands:
- Property Owners
- Business Owners
- Business Employees
Mandatory evacuations for some people in Manatee and Pasco counties are now in effect.
- Mandatory evacuation order for Zone A
- Mandatory evacuation order for residents living in Zone A
- Mandatory evacuation for residents living in manufactured homes, mobile homes or RVs
- Mandatory evacuation for residents living in low-lying areas or areas prone to flooding
Mandatory evacuation orders for Zones B and C in Pinellas County are officially in effect.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister appeared on Good Morning Tampa Bay with Deiah Riley to discuss Ian and urge residents in evacuation zones to get to safety.
“The number one killer in a storm like this is flooding. So with the storm surge we’re going to see, and the amount of rain to these already overly-saturated areas — it’s a recipe for disaster,” Chronister said. “Please, heed the warnings.”
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister discusses Hurricane Ian, urges evacuation for those ordered to leave
Monday, September 26
Tampa International Airport – closes at 5 p.m. Tuesday, September 27
Bay Pines VA Healthcare System will close the following locations for in-person and procedure appointments:
- C.W.Y. VA Medical Center
- Closing Monday, September 26 to Friday, September 30.
- North Pinellas VA Clinic
- Closing Tuesday, September 27 to Friday, September 30.
- Lee County Healthcare Center and Naples and Port Charlotte VA Clinics
- Closing Tuesday, 12 p.m., September 27 to Thursday, September 29.
- St. Petersburg, Sarasota and Bradenton VA Clinics
- Closing Wednesday, September 28 to Friday, September 30.
Johns Hopkins said all outpatient centers throughout the Tampa Bay area and on the main campus will close Tuesday-Thursday. Nonemergent surgeries are also canceled Tuesday-Friday. Emergency centers at the hospital in St. Petersburg will remain open for pediatric emergencies throughout the storm.
Tampa Electric (TECO) said it may begin interrupting electric service to a small part of evacuated Zone A in downtown Tampa in order to help reduce restoration time. Specifically, the southern tip of the downtown area may be shut down early Wednesday.
The proactive outage is expected to impact Harbor Island, two Channelside hotels, the transportation center and most of Davis Island. It will not impact Tampa General Hospital.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has suspended all interstate lane closures in the Tampa Bay area due to the expected arrival of Hurricane Ian.
Uber will offer free round-trip rides up to $30 each way to and from state-approved evacuation shelters in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee and Pasco county by using IANRELIEF promo code.
Sarasota County announced that on Tuesday between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. they will shut off water service to residents and businesses on Siesta Key and Casey Key while they prepare for potential impacts.
St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport (PIE) will close on Tuesday, September 27 at 1 p.m. due to Pinellas County Evacuation mandates and will remain closed until they’re lifted.
A full list of all shelters that have announced they would be open can be found here.
The following toll roads have tolls suspended as of noon, per Governor Ron DeSantis’ order:
- Polk Parkway in Polk County
- Suncoast Parkway in Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus County
- Veterans Expressway in Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus County
- I-4 Connector in Hillsborough County
- Selmon Expressway in Hillsborough County
- Pinellas Bayway in Pinellas County
- Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Pinellas County
- Garcon Point Bridge in Santa Rosa County
- Spence Parkway in Okaloosa County
- Mid-Bay Bridge in Okaloosa County
- Alligator Alley in Collier and Broward Counties
The city of Tampa has activated its citizen information line for urgent questions regarding the storm.
- The number is: 1-833-872-4636
- Open Monday Noon – 8 p.m.
- Starting Tuesday, open daily from 8 a.m. to midnight
Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority (PSTA) said it will suspend all transit services on Wednesday, September 28th, but could be enacted earlier if winds are sustained at 40 miles per hour Tuesday evening. The suspension will include all PSTA routes including PSTA Access, the Jolley Trolley, and Looper services.