TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee Wednesday morning to update Floridians hours before now-Category 4 Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall along the west coast of the state.

On Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center upgraded Hurricane Ian to an “extremely dangerous” category 4 hurricane, saying maximum sustained windspeeds had neared 155 mph — merely 2 mph short of becoming a Category 5 hurricane. As of 8 a.m., the center of the storm was approximately 55 miles west of Naples.

“That is knocking on the door of a category 5 storm,” DeSantis said monday, adding that landfall is expected off the coast of Charlotte County Wednesday afternoon.

The National Hurricane Center has said residents from Collier County to Sarasota County face the greatest risk.

“It’s time to hunker down and prepare for this storm. This is a powerful storm that should be treated like a tornado,” DeSantis said. “Ths is a major, major storm.”

The NHC predicted that the greatest risk of deadly storm surges would be in the area from Sarasota to Naples. Aside from hurricane-force winds and flooding, tornadoes are also possible across central and south Florida.

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