Tampa braces for its worst hurricane in 100 YEARS: Monster storm Ian is set to batter Florida as a 'large and powerful force' bringing 15ft waves and 135mph winds - as locals dig TRENCHES and strip stores bare
Tropical Storm Ian has been upgraded to a 'large and powerful' Category 1 hurricane by the National Hurricane Center
> Authorities in Cuba have suspended classes and will begin evacuations on Monday as Ian is set to hit a Category 3 strength or above
> Officials in Florida have also declared a state emergency over the strengthening storm, warning residents to stock up on radios and supplies
> Stores have started to run out of water and other basic supplies as many stockpile ahead of the storm hitting - including planks of plywood to board their windows up
People have been desperate to fill up on gas, causing huge queues at many stations as others are preparing by sandbagging roads outside their properties in an attempt to limit the damage.
Some residents in Florida are being forced to queue for more than two hours to get sandbags ahead of the storm hitting.
Tampa, Miami, Cape Coral and Orlando are all seeing an increase in congestion higher than usual for this time of year, which could indicate more people are fleeing the state or are using their time to stock up on essentials.
Jose Lugo told WFTV he knows what can happen if the worst hits and has been preparing by filling up bags of sand alongside other community members in Orange County.
He said: 'It’s better to be prepared than sorry later, I was in Puerto Rico visiting my parents a couple days before Fiona hit.
'I was helping them out, and now I’m here helping myself and everybody else.'
Some areas in Tampa are having to show proof of residency to gain access to the sandbags, with a 10-bag limit per house.
Tampa’s Mayor, Jane Castor, said that they are ‘preparing for the worst and hoping for the best’ when it comes to preparing for the hurricane