TAMPA – We’re tracking live updates on Hurricane Ian as it nears Cuba and eventually Florida this week in the Atlantic. Here’s how to find your evacuation zone, as counties begin to issue orders.
Ian was forecast to hit the western tip of Cuba as a major hurricane and then become an even stronger Category 4 with top winds of 140 mph (225 km/h) over warm Gulf of Mexico waters before striking Florida.
As of Monday, Tampa and St. Petersburg appeared to be the among the most likely targets for their first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921.
A surge of up to 10 feet (3 meters) of ocean water and 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain was predicted across the Tampa Bay area, with as much as 15 inches (38 centimeters) inches in isolated areas. That’s enough water to inundate coastal communities. As many as 300,000 people may be evacuated from low-lying areas in Hillsborough County alone, county administrator Bonnie Wise said. Some of those evacuations were beginning Monday afternoon in the most vulnerable areas, with schools and other locations opening as shelters.
A hurricane watch was issued for Florida’s central western coast including the Tampa Bay area, where Hillsborough County suspended classes through Thursday to prepare schools to serve as shelters for evacuees. Additional watches for more northern areas along the peninsula’s west coast may be issued, Brown said.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency throughout Florida and urged residents to prepare for the storm to lash large swaths of the state with heavy rains, high winds and rising seas. DeSantis said the state has suspended tolls around the Tampa Bay area and mobilized 5,000 Florida state national guard troops, with another 2,000 on standby in neighboring states. President Joe Biden also declared an emergency, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief and provide assistance to protect lives and property.
Florida evacuation orders for Hurricane Ian -- what to know
To stay safe from surge flooding, if you live in a zone that has been ordered to evacuate, get out. The best way to be prepared for a hurricane storm surge is to know your evacuation zone and plan your destination and travel routes ahead of time.
Hillsborough County, Collier County, Manatee County, Pinellas County and Sarasota County have issued mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders in zones.
Florida coastal counties are susceptible to storm surge from tropical storms and hurricanes. For most coastal Florida counties, evacuation zones have been designated. Interior counties do not have designated evacuation zones.
Evacuation Zones - enter an address or use your device location to Know Your Zone and view designated evacuation zones.
Evacuation Routes - enter an address or use your device location to Know Your Zone and view nearby designated evacuation routes.
Evacuation Zones are designated by letter. Vulnerability may be assumed to increase as the designations go from Tropical Storm Zone to Zone F, with Tropical Storm Zone and Zone A as the most vulnerable. No other counties in the state have an F zone except the Northeast Florida counties, for now. Counties who use designated evacuation zones will use these letters when they order evacuations.
Florida evacuation route and zone by county
These county-wide evacuation route and zone maps are based upon the most up-to-date regional evacuation studies and are intended for general reference. Please note that within many counties, there may not be designated evacuation zones.
Alachua | Baker | Bay | Bradford | Brevard | Broward | Calhoun | Charlotte | Citrus | Clay | Collier | Columbia| DeSoto | Dixie | Duval | Escambia | Flagler | Franklin| Gadsden | Gilchrist | Glades | Gulf Hamilton | Hardee | Hendry | Hernando | Highlands | Hillsborough | Holmes | Indian River | Jackson | Jefferson Lake | Lafayette | Lee | Leon | Levy | Liberty Madison | Manatee | Marion | Martin | Miami-Dade | Monroe Nassau | Okaloosa | Okeechobee | Orange | Osceola | Palm Beach | Pasco | Pinellas | Polk | Putnam | Santa Rosa | Sarasota | Seminole | St. Johns | St. Lucie | Sumter | Suwannee| Taylor | Union | Volusia | Wakulla | Walton | Washington
DURING AN EMERGENCY, YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PROGRAM SHOULD ALWAYS BE CONSULTED REGARDING EVACUATION ORDERS.