The National Hurricane Center in Miami reduced Hurricane Ian from a hurricane to a tropical storm overnight, but it was still carrying a powerful punch as it moved over Florida toward the Atlantic Ocean, and storm surges remained a major threat.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Ian made landfall in Cayo Costa, Florida, in southern Florida on Wednesday as a significant Category 4 storm – the second-strongest possible category on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.
At 5 a.m. Thursday EDT, however, Ian’s sustained winds were 65 mph, 9 mph below the threshold for a hurricane.
Ian’s location was around forty miles southeast of Orlando and thirty-five miles southwest of Cape Canaveral. It was traveling 8 mph northeast.
Ian knocked down electricity throughout vast parts of Florida, notably in southwestern Florida counties.
As soon as Ian reached landfall, the region felt his influence.
“As predicted, we have experienced life-threatening storm surge,” Florida Governor Ron DeSantis stated at a press conference on Wednesday evening. We have also witnessed heavy flooding in Collier County, Sanibel, and Fort Myers Beach.
DeSantis estimated that the storm surge peaked at approximately 12 feet.
According to poweroutage.us, more than 2 million people in the state were without power as of Wednesday night, although it is too early for officials to determine structural damage. In coastal communities, flooding destroyed automobiles and structures, while collapsed power lines started fires. As flooded water systems struggled to meet demand, a number of communities encouraged their inhabitants to conserve water.
As Ian moves inland, the governor and other state officials issued a warning Wednesday evening that residents of central and northeast Florida might see tornadoes, severe winds, and flash flooding. Several counties in the vicinity of Jacksonville and St. Augustine were ordered to evacuate in full or in part.
It is anticipated that the storm will not leave Florida until Thursday.»Tropical storm Ian is heading over Florida«