Michael McEwen | News Director
A university-wide email circulated this afternoon announced that the university will be closed beginning today, Sep 27 at 5pm through tomorrow, Sep 28.
All classes – including online-only courses – are also canceled for that period of time, according to the statement released by FIU Communications.
Per the National Hurricane Center’s 11:00 am update, Ian was strengthening as a category 3 hurricane off of coastal southwest Florida, with its projected landfall nearing Sarasota by Wednesday around 2:00 pm. Working from that projection, South Florida was placed under a tropical storm watch as of this morning due to the reach of the storm’s outer bands.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, tropical storm force winds between 39 and 73 miles per hour are projected in the region over the next two days.
Students living on campus will be allowed to remain, according to the email, which also said limited dining options would remain open.
This is a developing story and will be updated below as NHC scheduled updates are released.
- Sept 27 2:00 PM: This scheduled update, which does not revise the track of the storm, shows Ian strengthening between western Cuba and the Dry Tortugas with sustained winds of 120 miles per hour.
- Sept 27 5:00 PM: south Florida is now under a tropical storm warning as category 3 hurricane Ian continues to move slowly toward southwest Florida. According to this update, the storm is expected to strengthen to a category 4 and make landfall between Charlotte and Lee counties tomorrow at 8 pm.
- “Life-threatening” storm surge is anticipated along Florida’s Gulf Coast stretching from Naples north to Sarasota County as the storm continues to shift southeast. Forecasters expect the storm surge to be worse than 2017’s Hurricane Irma and 2004’s hurricane Charley.
- A tornado warning issued by the National Weather Service – Miami station has also been extended until 5 am tomorrow, September 28.
- Hurricane force winds are expected to arrive in southwest and west-central Florida tomorrow morning while tropical storm conditions are expected in south Florida beginning tonight.
- Sept 28 4:00 PM: Hurricane Ian made landfall off the coast of Fort Myers this afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center, which placed Ian as the fifth-strongest storm to make landfall in the United States.
- South Florida is forecast to experience tropical storm effects through Thursday afternoon.
- A large portion of Florida’s Gulf Coast stretching from Englewood to Bonita Beach is forecast to receive 12-18 feet of storm surge as the near-category 5 storm moves slowly onto the peninsula.
- Videos from Fort Myers Beach have shown storm surge flooding of more than 6 feet as forecasters say the peak has yet to arrive.