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Skyway Bridge closed due to strong winds from Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian is making landfall near the Tampa Bay area on Wednesday afternoon.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) announced on Wednesday morning that the Sunshine Skyway Bridge will be closed as the Tampa Bay area feels the impacts of Hurricane Ian. 

Winds as of Tuesday around 8 a.m. are ranging from 50 to 60 miles per hour and are expected to pick up throughout Wednesday. 

FHP said the bridge will remain closed until the storm passes the area and the inclement weather subsides. Troopers said both directions of the bridge will remain closed. 

Drivers who need to travel over the bridge on Thursday should check the FHP's website to see if the bridge is reopened. 

FHP has not announced if any other bridges in the Tampa Bay area would close due to Hurricane Ian. 

RELATED: Coast Guard urges boaters to stay off the water ahead of Hurricane Ian

As of the 8 a.m. advisory on Wednesday, Hurricane Ian is continuing to gain strength as an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm. It is located about 55 miles west of Naples, Florida, with sustained winds of 155 mph  — just two miles per hour away from being a Category 5 hurricane. 

Ian's movement is north-northeast at 10 mph.  

Hurricane Ian is approaching the west coast of Florida where it is expected to make landfall as a "catastrophic hurricane"  Wednesday morning and will continue to move onshore.

A life-threatening storm surge of 12-16 feet is possible along the west coast of Florida, with the highest risk from Bonita Beach northward to Longboat Key. Tampa Bay itself could see a 4-6 foot storm surge. 

Prior to landfall, the storm will bring a tornado threat to the Florida peninsula.

10 Tampa Bay is keeping you ahead of the storm: Download our free mobile app for real-time storm information and breaking alerts, and download 10 Tampa Bay+ on your Fire TV or Roku devices to stream live coverage.

RELATED: LIVE: Track Hurricane Ian using spaghetti models, forecast cone, alerts

RELATED: FORECAST: Hurricane Ian nears Category 5 strength with 155 mph winds

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