JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Hurricane Ian, a very powerful Cat. 4 storm, is expected to make landfall in Southwest Florida sometime Wednesday.
Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference early Wednesday morning to warn all Floridians to stay alert and prepared for the storm.
"Trees are going to come down," DeSantis said. "Even with tropical storm forced winds, it does not need to be hurricane force." As a result, DeSantis said many Florida residents will see a disruption in power.
The Florida Governor said the storm is expected to travel across the central part of the state and wreak havoc.
Forecasters predict Hurricane Ian will exit the state in the Atlantic, and because of that, DeSantis said areas like Nassau and Duval County will see significant impacts from the storm.
"Because of what it's going to do in the Atlantic, you're going to see impacts in Nassau County and Duval County," DeSantis said.
Some of the impacts the First Coast is expected to see from the storm are flooding, power outages and downed trees.
"You will see a lot, a lot of rain and water," DeSantis stressed.
Tuesday afternoon, Jacksovnille Mayor Lenny Curry declared a state of emergency for Duval County, which goes into effect Wednesday at noon.
"This storm is nothing to take for granted. This is not the time to be complacent," Curry said during a news conference on Wendesday. "For those that do not know, a state of emergency declaration allows the city to more easily allocate dollars and resources to best protect lives and property."
Evacuation orders were also issued for several parts of the First Coast. Clay County authorities issued evacuation orders for parts of the county along the St. Johns river.
The evacuation orders are for residents in Zones A, B, C as well as the North Prong and South Prong of Black Creek. In a press conference Tuesday, John Ward, Director of Clay County Emergency Management, warned those in the county that Hurricane Ian will bring significant flooding, power outages, downed trees and power lines and sustained tropical storm force winds.
St. Johns County Emergency management officials also announced an evacuation for coastal areas of St. Johns County. This includes Zone A, Zone B and Zone F South of County Road 214 starting at 6 a.m.Wednesday morning.