On Wednesday afternoon, Hurricane Ian blasted ashore in southwest Florida, unleashing torrential rains and 150 mph gusts.
According to the National Hurricane Center, the slow-moving storm landed at Cayo Costa at 3:05 p.m.
The barrier island is about 20 miles west of Fort Myers’s city center.
Nearly 2 feet of rain were forecast for the hardest-hit areas, while southwest, central, and northeast Florida were all predicted to receive at least a foot.
Along the Gulf Coast of Florida, Ian sparked a significant storm surge.
The water in Fort Myers Beach reached the upper levels of two-story residences even before landfall.
Ian’s terrible Category 4 designation was earned by its powerful winds, but much of Florida may see more problems because of the rain.
Before making landfall, the storm was moving slowly.
After hitting the ground, it slowed down even more before lingering over the Gulf Coast from Tampa to Naples and pouring down rain.
The National Hurricane Center issued a warning stating, “Widespread, life-threatening, catastrophic flash, urban, and river flooding is predicted in central Florida.”
According to PowerOutage.us, more than 800,000 Florida customers were without power when Ian made landfall.
As the storm continued its attack, it was anticipated that number would increase.
Damage was wrought by hurricane-force winds that extended further inland and from Tampa to Naples.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis predicted early Wednesday that “this will be an ugly, nasty day, two days.”
This stretch is going to be difficult.
But Ian’s safety isn’t just a concern for Florida.
The storm’s predicted route will reach eastern Georgia and South Carolina by the weekend.
And even while Ian won’t be gaining momentum over the open sea any longer, the storm is still predicted to drop copious amounts of rain on the area.
The National Hurricane Center (NHC) warned that Ian “may be near hurricane strength” when it crossed over the Florida east coast tomorrow and came close to the shores of northeastern Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina late Friday.
President Biden instructed the chiefs of federal agencies across the U.S. government to “surge all available resources” to Florida’s most at-risk areas before the hurricane.
Before the storm, more than 1,300 emergency personnel were dispatched to Florida.
They arrived before airports in Tampa, Orlando, and along the Gulf Coast shut down operations in anticipation of the devastation.
The director of the National Weather Service, Ken Graham, forewarned: “This is going to be a storm we talk about for many years to come.” “This storm surge is severe and life-threatening.”