US President Biden assures Florida mayors of federal help as Hurricane Ian nears

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WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden has called mayors in three Florida cities as Hurricane Ian nears the state to assure them federal support is pre-positioned to deploy food, shelter and help after the storm passes.
Biden also told the mayors it was important to encourage residents to heed evacuation orders, according to a read out of the call provided by the White House.
FEMA administrator Deanne Criswell said the agency is most concerned about storm surges and the slow pace of the storm, which could batter Florida’s west coast for a sustained period.
“Floridians are going to experience the impacts from this storm for a very long time,” she said, because it is expected to slow down to 5 miles per hour (8 km per hour) as it makes landfall.
The Category 3 hurricane slammed into western Cuba on Tuesday, forcing evacuations, cutting power to nearly 1 million people and tearing roofs off homes as it tracked northward toward Florida, where residents anxiously await the sprawling storm.
The U.S. government already has in place 128,000 gallons of fuel, 300 Army Corp of Engineer personnel, 3.7 million meals and over 3 million gallons of water, 29 Red Cross shelters, 200 ambulances and four medical teams, Criswell said.

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