September 26, 2022 Florida braces for Hurricane Ian

By Mike Hayes, Elise Hammond and Maureen Chowdhury, CNN

Updated 7:11 a.m. ET, September 27, 2022
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9:35 p.m. ET, September 26, 2022

At least 3 cruise lines changing schedule of stops to avoid hurricane's path

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

At least three cruise lines with ships sailing this week are rerouting passengers due to Hurricane Ian.

Norwegian Cruise Lines has changed five ports on the Norwegian Sky which left Miami on Sunday, the cruise line told CNN. The ship was scheduled to port in George Town, Grand Cayman, Roatan, Honduras, Harvest Caye, Belize and Cozumel and will now make stops in San Juan, Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, Tortola, British Virgin Islands and Nassau, Bahamas, to avoid the path of Ian. 

A spokesperson for the cruise line said guests who booked excursions in any of the affected ports will get a refund to their "onboard account."

MSC has changed course on at least one of its ships and is weighing the possibility of changing others, a spokesperson tells CNN. The MSC Seashore, which was originally scheduled to be in the Western Caribbean, has been rerouted to ports in the Eastern Caribbean, the company said. 

The cruise line is also monitoring the MSC Divinia which left Port Canaveral on a 4-night sailing to Nassau and the Ocean City Marine Reserve on Sunday. MSC says both cruise ports are outside of Ian’s projected path but advised passengers before leaving that conditions could prevent the ship from returning on Thursday. The cruise line says if there is a delay in their return, the cruise will be extended at no additional cost to guests.  

The cruise line does not expect Ian to impact the MSC Seashore, which is set to depart from the Port of Miami on Saturday, Oct. 1. 

Carnival Cruise Lines has made adjustments to two of its sailings. 

Carnival Ecstasy, which departed from Mobile, Alabama, today for a 6-day sailing will visit Progresso Mexico on Wednesday before going to Cozumel on Thursday. The change re-orders the visits, as the ship was scheduled to visit Cozumel first, the cruise line tells CNN.

Carnival Glory left New Orleans on Sunday for an 8-day sailing, and will now port in Mahogany Bay, Roatan, Belize and Cozumel, Mexico. The ship’s original itinerary was to visit Key West as well as Freeport and Nassau, Bahamas.

9:14 p.m. ET, September 26, 2022

Tampa Bay International Airport to suspend operations at 5 p.m. Tuesday, governor says 

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

Tampa Bay International Airport will suspend operations Tuesday at 5 p.m. ET, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a statement. 

In an earlier statement, the airport said it was monitoring Hurricane Ian and would cease operations at 50 mph sustained winds.  Earlier today, St. Pete/Clearwater International Airport announced it would close at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

The Port of Tampa Bay is also planning to suspend operations at 8 a.m. ET on Tuesday, DeSantis said. 

Other airports in Florida are continuing to monitor Hurricane Ian, but have not announced closures. 

CNN has reached out to Tampa Bay International Airport and the Tampa Bay mayor’s office for more information.

11:13 p.m. ET, September 26, 2022

More than 19,000 residents have already been evacuated from western Cuba, state news says

From CNN’s Patrick Oppmann and Heather Law

Waves under a dark sky along the shore of Batabano, Cuba, on Monday.
Waves under a dark sky along the shore of Batabano, Cuba, on Monday. (Ramon Espinosa/AP)

At least 19,283 people have been evacuated from their homes in the western Cuban province of Pinar del Río as Hurricane Ian strengthens, according to state news channel TelePinar.

Among the evacuees, 18,042 have sought refuge with family and friends, the report stated. Officials estimate another 50,000 residents will need to evacuate the province as the hurricane moves north.

The forecast: The latest advisory from the National Hurricane Center predicts conditions in western Cuba will deteriorate through the night, with “significant wind and storm surge impacts expected."

Forecasts say Ian will likely be a Category 3 with winds of 120 mph or greater when it moves over Cuba on Tuesday morning.

8:06 p.m. ET, September 26, 2022

Here's what Hurricane Ian looks like from space

NASA tweeted out video of what Hurricane Ian looks like for the International Space Station.

View the video, here:

7:57 p.m. ET, September 26, 2022

Florida emergency management official tells residents to heed the evacuation warning

From CNN’s Jamiel Lynch

Kevin Guthrie, the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management
Kevin Guthrie, the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management (CNN)

Kevin Guthrie, the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, is urging people to "heed the evacuation warning" as Hurricane Ian gets closer to the coast.

Guthrie told CNN that the biggest concern is that people do not follow orders to leave, adding that Floridians should expect more evacuations on Tuesday.

“I’m worried about people being complacent and getting tired of trying to get on the road or sitting in traffic and they turn around and go back home or they don’t get on the road at all,” he said. 

Guthrie said this is especially a concern in Pinellas County where there are many manufactured homes, RVs and trailers. 

According to Guthrie, the Department of Transportation would most likely turn on the emergency shoulder use authorization allowing for people to use the shoulders at slower speeds in order to help the congestion of those trying to get out of some areas. 

7:46 p.m. ET, September 26, 2022

St. Petersburg hospital suspends all services and transfers patients 

From CNN’s Joe Sutton

The HCA Florida Pasadena Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, is closing ahead of Ian.  

In a post on the hospital’s website, it reads “We are closed: We have suspended all services and have transferred patients.”

According to HCA Florida Pasadena Hospital’s website, the facility is a 307-bed hospital, has 530 employees, 115 physicians and at least 39,076 patients have been treated.  

St. Petersburg is about 17 miles from Tampa. 

7:09 p.m. ET, September 26, 2022

Chevron evacuates personnel from offshore oil and gas field in Gulf of Mexico

From CNN's Melissa Alonso

Chevron Corp has begun moving workers to safety and halting production at offshore production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico, the company said in a statement.

"In preparation for the tropical weather, we have begun transporting all personnel from our Petronius and Blind Faith platforms and are shutting-in the facilities," the statement noted.

According to the statement, "production at our other Chevron-operated Gulf of Mexico assets remains at normal levels. Chevron will continue to closely monitor the storm and remains focused on the safety of our workforce, the integrity of our facilities and the protection of the environment."

"Both offshore and onshore, Chevron is following our storm plans and paying close attention to the forecast and track of Hurricane Ian," the company stated.

6:46 p.m. ET, September 26, 2022

This Tampa resident waited 3 hours to get free sandbags

From CNN’s Amanda Jackson

Florida Residents prepare for the possible arrival of Hurricane Ian on Monday.
Florida Residents prepare for the possible arrival of Hurricane Ian on Monday. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Khadijah Jones was in line for three hours on Monday to get free sandbags that the city of Tampa was handing out to residents ahead of Hurricane Ian.

Jones told CNN she is planning on staying at her home during the storm. 

“We will be staying home. Not in an evacuation zone. Just doing the basics… securing loose materials in the yard, sandbags in low areas, and getting items to prep for no power.”

She said she isn’t sure if her home will flood since it was her first hurricane in the home she lives in. She said she will share the 10 sandbags with her neighbor as well.  

This isn’t her first hurricane experience. She said she lived through Hurricane Isabel in Virginia and Hurricane Irma in Florida.

6:20 p.m. ET, September 26, 2022

Sanibel Island and Lee County declare states of emergency

From CNN’s Amanda Musa

The City of Sanibel, Florida, declared a state of emergency during a special city council meeting Monday evening as Hurricane Ian churns toward the west coast of Florida.

Sanibel is located on Sanibel Island — just south of Fort Myers — in Lee County. 

A voluntary evacuation has also been issued for the City of Sanibel, council members said.

Meanwhile, Lee County also declared a state of emergency Monday, according to an afternoon press conference. 

Lee County officials will decide Tuesday morning whether a mandatory evacuation will be issued, City of Sanibel members said.