Hurricane Ian nears Florida, DeSantis declares state of emergency _ USA TODAY

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Hurricane Ian is expected to hit Florida later this week. Accuweather said it could reach Category 4 status, with winds between 130 mph and 156 mph.

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Tropical Storm Ian strengthened into a hurricane early Monday and threatened to grow stronger while roaring across the Caribbean toward Cuba and Florida. Ian was moving northwest at 14 mph, about 90 miles southwest of Grand Cayman, according to the National Hurricane Center. It has maximum sustained winds of 75 mph. "In just a few days, Ian is likely to be a dangerous, major hurricane," AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Adam Douty said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis urged residents to load up on food, water, medicine, batteries and fuel. He said it was too soon to determine when or even if Ian will make landfall, but that evacuations may be ordered in coming days. "Expect heavy rains, strong winds, flash flooding, storm surge and even isolated tornadoes. Make preparations now," he said Sunday. "Anticipate power outages. That is something that is likely to happen with a hurricane of this magnitude."

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