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Ivan's projected path shifts westward

Governor warns Floridians to be prepared

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CNN's Karl Penhaul reports from Jamaica as Ivan pounds the island.

Ivan damaged 90 percent of Grenada's buildings

• Survival tips: Web sites
As of 11 p.m. Saturday ET

  • Position of center: 105 miles east-southeast of Grand Cayman
  • Latitude: 18.3 North
  • Longitude: 80.0 West
  • Top sustained winds: Near 165 mph

    Source: Natl. Hurricane Center
    Hurricane Ivan
    Cayman Islands

    TALLAHASSEE, Florida (CNN) -- Florida's Gulf Coast residents should spend Saturday stocking up on supplies or making plans for a possible evacuation as Hurricane Ivan follows an uncertain path closer to them, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said.

    Ivan's center passed to the south of Jamaica on Saturday, delivering powerful winds and heavy rains to the island as it moved along a track that is likely to take it over the western end of Cuba by early Monday, according to predictions from the National Hurricane Center. (Full story)

    As of 11 p.m. Saturday, Ivan remained a Category 5 storm, with winds near 165 mph (270 kph). The storm's center was 105 miles (170 kilometers) east-southeast of Grand Cayman. Ivan was moving west-northwest near 8 mph (13 kph) toward the Cayman Islands.

    The NHC's forecast shifted Ivan's expected path "a little bit westward" Saturday when it "wobbled" west, avoiding a direct hit on Jamaica, according to the center.

    Although the latest chart of probabilities issued by the NHC moved the path farther from Key West and Tampa, Florida, hurricanes are known for erratic course changes. Last month, Hurricane Charley made an unexpected turn eastward, catching Punta Gorda residents off-guard while sparing Tampa from the brunt of the storm.

    "In all likelihood it will hit our state," Bush said Saturday morning at a news conference.

    "This is the time for people in the panhandle and the people on the west coast particularly to make sure that all of their preparations are complete.

    "Today is a good day to get your supplies and to execute your preparedness plans that are so essential for safety," Bush said.

    Bush declared a state of emergency Friday and ordered a mandatory evacuation of the Florida Keys.

    Many residents of the Keys have evacuated, with the only highway leading out of the island chain jammed with traffic, Bush said.

    Authorities were going door-to-door telling residents to either leave or brace for the worst, a spokeswoman for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said

    "We're definitely not going to shackle anybody and drag them to the pokey if they don't leave," she told CNN.

    Key West Mayor Jimmy Weekley said nearly all of the businesses there had been boarded up and that residents were leaving en masse after seeing the damage what Charley and Frances wrought on other parts of Florida in recent weeks.

    "The residents here in Key West saw what really happened and they took heed to the evacuation orders," he said.

    Tropical storm-force winds are expected to reach the Keys by Sunday evening, forecasters said.

    Although the eye now is expected to pass to the west of the Keys, concern about storm surges wiping out the bridges that connect the islands to the north prompted federal and state authorities to make plans for military helicopters to create an "air bridge" for the relief effort.

    The latest forecast predicts the most likely U.S. landfall for Ivan's eye will be on Florida's panhandle, just south of Tallahassee. It would then move north into Georgia, similar to the path taken by Hurricane Frances in its second Florida landfall Monday.

    A half-million Florida homes and businesses are still without power after the one-two punch of Charley and Frances. At the peak, 3.4 million electric customers were without power, according to Bush.

    Bush said he has asked Florida Power and Light to be "transparent" in telling when it expects all power to be restored. A news release from FPL on Saturday morning said it could be another eight days, in the absence of new troubles.

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