FORT WORTH, Texas — Strong storm surges and super high winds have pounded parts of western Cuba. People in Florida used sandbags to prepare for the same impact from Hurricane Ian.
The dangerous weather system is being closely watched by Brian Hoeth, who works in downtown Fort Worth.
"I'm an emergency response specialist with the National Weather Service," said Hoeth.
Hoeth and his colleagues work in the federal building on Taylor Street. Part of their job is to monitor storms and get hurricane information to other emergency personnel in several states, including people on their team working on the Texas coast.
Storms, like Hurricane Ian, can be threats to coastal cities, even when the eye of the storm remains thousands of miles away.
"This will mostly just be a beach concern for the coastal areas of Texas, and that will just mostly be a rip current threat," said Hoeth.
That threat prediction comes from the Southern Region Headquarters -- Regional Operations Center (ROC). It's staffed 24 hours a day and seven days a week, as Hoeth and his coworkers try to predict Ian's next move.
"This is going to be a very tough week for Florida," said Hoeth.
In preparation, military officials have relocated about 14 F-16s from Homestead Air Force Reserve Base in Florida to Fort Worth.
WFAA has learned that more military aircraft is on the way to Fort Worth from other places, pending Hurricane Ian's possible wrath.
After working through storms like Hurricane Harvey, Hoeth warns, pay attention to information from the ROC, especially Texans with family and friends in Florida.
"Make sure that you're in contact with them. Make sure that they're heeding the advice of their local authorities," said Hoeth.
Hoeth shared that there is a team of National Weather Service meteorologists from Texas working in one of their Florida facilities to help monitor and share information about Hurricane Ian. That same team will share information throughout their district with personnel in the southern region states.
"We cover the southern region of the National Weather Service, which goes from Florida and Georgia and up to Tennessee, all the way westward, all the way into Texas and New Mexico," said Hoeth.