Tallahassee prepares for Hurricane Ian

Satellite image released by NASA of Hurricane Ian as it surrounds Cuba. Photo courtesy: NASA

Hurricane Ian is heading toward the Gulf Coast of Florida and is expected to impact Tallahassee later this week, possibly as soon as Thursday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency for all of Florida, and by the end of Monday night, Ian had strengthened into a Category 3 hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center has advised residents of Cuba, the Florida Keys and the Florida Peninsula to have a hurricane plan in place and to follow forecast updates.

Ian will be the first hurricane since Michael in 2018 that will impact Tallahassee. Residents are stocking up on supplies and preparing for what’s to come.

Resident Lebia Jackson said, “I prepared by going to Sam’s Club, and I always make sure that I have supplies on hand. I’m from South Florida, and I know how it is to be without electricity for a while growing up.”

Although some people may be excited to have days off from school and work, many Tallahassee residents are not. Jackson was highly disappointed when she received the news of Ian because of her experience with Hurricane Michael in 2018.

“I was one of the few who got lucky. I only had trees and limbs fall, but nothing damaged my home. I was also out of electricity for a while,” Jackson said.

While Ian is a Category 3 hurricane, some Tallahassee residents do not have a safety plan or think that Ian is going to be as severe as newscasts are making it. Sonya Knight said she does not plan on evacuating and doesn’t have a hurricane safety plan.

“When I heard the news of the hurricane, I honestly didn’t think much of it,” Knight said. “I am going to try to get some supplies today. I hope we just receive heavy winds and rain and nothing damaging,” Knight said.

Residents have mixed views on whether they think the storm will be catastrophic to the city.

“As a former South Florida resident, I have experienced multiple hurricanes myself,” Tayah Fuller said. “I am used to the panic surrounding these natural disasters. After tracking the hurricane, I feel as if we should take this seriously, but I don’t think we should panic. Florida is known for having a lot of hurricanes, and many of them are not as serious as people make it out to be, especially out-of-state people.”

Florida A&M University and Florida State University have officially canceled classes for the week. Many students and residents are preparing to evacuate the city before the storm hits.