ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) — St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch spoke alongside city administrators Tuesday to update the public on the latest preparations taking shape ahead of Hurricane Ian’s projected landfall just south of Tampa Bay.

Current projections show Hurricane Ian making landfall just south of Tampa Bay. However, Mayor Welch continued to urge residents in Zones A, B, and C to evacuate following the mandatory evacuation orders issued Tuesday morning.

Welch said residents do not need to evacuate to another city or state, but rather somewhere with higher ground in a non-evacuation zone.

“After Ian passes, we will make sure any interrupted services are restored and we will move down a path with resilience in mind,” Mayor Welch said.

County officials said residents should not let their guard down despite the latest models projecting lesser than expected storm in the Tampa Bay area.

“Some of you may be breathing a sigh of relief as we see the latest track of Hurricane Ian shift a little bit south, I want to let you know that now is not the time to let your guard down.”

For the latest Max Defender 8 updates on hurricane Ian, click here.