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The outer bands of Hurricane Ian have begun to whip Southeast Florida with Category 4 force winds and calamitous amounts of rain as forecasters say it is on a path across the peninsula toward Volusia County. Throughout Wednesday, the News-Journal will be posting updates here, so check back for the latest from East Central Florida.

Hurricane Ian quick links for Volusia-Flagler-St. Johns Counties

9:00 am | Governor Ron DeSantis: Storm heading for Volusia County

More quotes from Governor Ron DeSantis’ press conference: “I think one thing for central Florida, because we’ve had a lot of saturation, the trees are going to fall, even with tropical storm force winds. It doesn’t have to be hurricane force.You will absolutely see it.

“It’s going to cause power outages and of course the amount of rain that’s going to fall. It’s going to have a major impact on the central part of the state and even with the planned exit from the state in Volusia County, because that what he’s going to do in the Atlantic, you’re going to see impacts all the way to Nassau County and Duval County.”

8:58 am | Governor Ron DeSantis: Hurricane Ian is going to be ‘the real deal’

Governor Ron DeSantis announced at a press conference that the storm’s maximum sustained winds reached 155 mph, “and that’s knocking on the door of a Category 5 storm”, as it moved at 10 mph to Charlotte County.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis listens as emergency officials speak during a press conference on Hurricane Ian updates and preparations at the State Emergency Operations Center Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022 in Tallahassee, Florida.

“We expect to make landfall in southwest Florida later today as a major hurricane and will move slowly across the central Florida peninsula before moving off the northeast coast of Florida. Florida probably on Thursday,” DeSantis said.

About 2.5 million people along Florida’s Gulf Coast had been issued evacuation orders ahead of the storm. Collier, Lee, Charlotte and Sarasota counties are considered the most exposed to winds, storm surges and flooding, officials said.

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