Hurricane Ian Bears Down on FL, Forcing Theme Park Closures and Evacuations

The Category 2 hurricane is heading to the USA.

Those on America’s east coast are bracing themselves Hurricane Ian’s arrival. The storm continues to gain strength, speed and size as it makes its way over the Caribbean and to Florida this week. 

“Ian is now a Category 2 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, according to a 5 p.m. ET update from the Miami-based National Hurricane Center,” CNN reported early on this week. The torrential storm is already affecting coastal areas with heavy rain and wind. It may officially hit the Southeastern state as early as Wednesday.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency. Meanwhile, many local governments are urging those in areas such as Tampa and Miami to evacuate if possible, as the hurricane may cause major damage along its new path. 

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Those vacationing in the Sunshine State should discuss evacuation plans and relocate to safer areas, if possible. As for planned activities, travelers are strongly advised to postpone any outings as the storm continues to develop. Theme parks such as Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, SeaWorld and more appear to still be open and operating. The parks have released statements that they will continue to monitor the weather and make closure decisions as-needed. 

Some attractions, lodging areas and events are closed until further notice. ClickOrlando provides a full breakdown of Florida’s most popular theme parks, along with the most updated information regarding their hurricane policies. 

The depth of Hurricane Ian’s destruction is currently unknown. However, many weather experts have predicted things could get very bad — especially for areas of Florida that don’t normally experience hurricane conditions.

If you’re looking to help support those affected by the storm, from anywhere in the world, these organizations are currently preparing to assist with disaster relief efforts:

  • The Florida Disaster Fund distributes funds to service organizations that will serve individuals within their communities with disaster response and recovery. You can also sign up to be a local volunteer through their website as well.
  • Feeding the Gulf Coast will ensure those affected by the storm will have access to nourishing food.
  • Direct Relief’s Hurricane efforts are set to assist with medical emergencies that may arise, as well as backup power options.

We hope the worst is not yet to come as Florida residents stock their homes with emergency supplies.

Katka Lapelosova
Katka is a born and raised New Yorker and writer who has written for Yahoo!, Huffington Post, Reader's Digest, SheKnows, Livingly, and more. Read more
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