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President Joe Biden has postponed his planned trip to Florida due to Tropical Storm Ian threatening the Caribbean Sea.
It was scheduled to travel to Orlando to headline a rally for the Democratic National Convention (DNC) on September 27, but the major storm is expected to strengthen to Category 3 or 4 before making landfall in the continental United States.
Biden declared a state of emergency for Florida on Saturday and authorized the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to assist in recovery efforts for those affected by the storm.
The White House did not say when the president intended to postpone his trip.
DESANTIS DECLARES EMERGENCY AS STORM EXPECTED TO REACH FLORIDA
On Saturday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also declared a state of emergency for all 67 counties. He also urges Florida residents to prepare for his arrival.
“This storm has the potential to develop into a major hurricane and we encourage all Floridians to be prepared,” DeSantis said in a statement. “We are coordinating with all state and local government partners to monitor the potential impacts of this storm.”
“I encourage all Floridians to continue to monitor the storm and listen to local officials,” DeSantis said.
NASA DELAYS LUNAR ROCKET LAUNCH DUE TO POTENTIAL HURRICANE
Tropical Storm Ian is strengthening over warm Caribbean waters and since Saturday evening has sustained winds of around 45 mph. It is moving west at 16 mph.
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Computer forecast models show the storm moving west of Tampa and making landfall over the Florida panhandle early next week. The storm will continue to strengthen rapidly over the next few days.
Tara Prindiville of Fox News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.