Hurricane Ian bears down on Cuba with landfall in Florida expected later this week

Hurricane Ian is on a collision course with Cuba and will threaten Florida after that. The storm is growing rapidly and could become a Category 4 with winds of 140 miles an hour before it reaches the U.S. mainland this week. Stephanie Sy reports.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    Hurricane Ian is aiming at Cuba's Western tip tonight, with winds of 100 miles an hour, and, after that, Florida's Gulf Coast could be in the crosshairs.

    The storm is growing rapidly and may be a Category 4 with winds of 140 miles an hour when it reaches the U.S. mainland.

    Stephanie Sy has our report.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Florida residents are preparing for Ian's onslaught, with swathes of its Gulf Coast under hurricane watch and evacuation orders.

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL):

    This is a really, really big hurricane at this point.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Governor Ron DeSantis spoke in Tallahassee today after declaring a state of emergency.

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis:

    It will bring heavy rain, strong winds, flash flooding, storm surge, along with isolated tornado activity along Florida's Gulf Coast.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Ian became a hurricane overnight. It battered the Cayman Islands early this morning as it moved northward through the Caribbean Sea. It is expected to hit Western Cuba as a major hurricane tonight, and then gain more strength over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

    Forecasters expect landfall in Florida later this week, with the cities of Tampa and Saint Petersburg preparing for what could be a direct hit.

    Ian's trajectory has now forced NASA to scrub this week's test flight to the moon, which had been set to launch Tuesday from the Kennedy Space Center after a month of delays. And, across the state, residents are stocking up on water and boarding up their homes.

  • Amy Stubbs, Florida Resident:

    We're just trying to get some supplies to cover the windows. We have just seen it come closer and closer. And so we just want to make sure we get at least some coverage, since we weren't expecting it to come right at us, and now it looks like it is.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Meanwhile, in Eastern Canada, devastation is still being assessed from another major hurricane, Fiona, that made landfall over the weekend.

  • George McDonald, Canada Resident:

    There was two or three trees fell on the house, and then, about an hour later, we had three more trees fall on the house.

  • Stephanie Sy:

    Puerto Rico was hit by Fiona last week and still has more than 740,000 residents without power.

    For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Stephanie Sy.

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