Hurricane Ian made landfall as an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane near Key Costa in southwestern Florida with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph (240 km/h), the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported. USA
In Naples, in southwestern Florida, images from the MSNBC channel showed completely flooded streets and cars floating in the current.
In addition to its hurricane-force winds, Ian produced storm surges before reaching the coastal zone of the Gulf of Mexico and will continue to produce them, which increase sea levels and flood normally dry coastal areas.
Another aspect related to Hurricane Ian is the tornado risk for the Florida panhandle in outer rainbands away from the immediate center. Currently the highest risk of tornadoes are concentrated along Florida’s east coast including Orlando, Daytona Beach, Melbourne and West Palm Beach, according to NOAA predictions.
Tourist towns such as Fort Myers, Captiva Island and Sanibel are in the area where the hurricane hit.
Ian, whose winds correspond to category 4 on the Saffir-Simpson scale, although bordering on 5, which is the maximum, has been described as an “incredibly dangerous” cyclone by the NHC, but so far there has been no information on damage or victims. .
In some points of the impact zone, the sea level can rise up to 4.8 meters, according to the NHC.
Although the city of Miami has not been directly impacted by Ian, citizens report that it is very windy and the rain is intense.
It is also unloading abundant rains in most of the state and tornadoes in areas surrounding Miami, where two people had to be hospitalized.
Ahead of Hurricane Ian’s arrival, a tornado hit North Perry Airport in Florida on Tuesday night, leaving more than 10 planes destroyed as a result. The typhoon started in Miami Gardens, moving to Pembroke Pines, Miramar. Video @news4vision #VIVOplay pic.twitter.com/GNrDjftm48
— VIVOplay (@vivoplaynet) September 28, 2022
On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to move inland from Florida tonight and Thursday morning and emerge over the western Atlantic on Thursday afternoon.
Ian will turn north on Friday and approach the northeast coast of Florida, in addition to the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina on Friday afternoon.
A million people without power
Although the impact zone is obviously the worst part, practically all of Florida is affected by Ian to a greater or lesser extent.
More than a million Floridians are now without power as Hurricane Ian devastates the Sunshine State with 155 mph wind gusts and torrential water, according to PowerOutage.us. Lee County, home to Fort Myers and Cape Coral, remains the hardest hit right now with more than 330,000 customers reporting outages.
Of the 67 counties in Florida, all declared in emergency since Monday, 18 issued mandatory evacuation orders before the arrival of Ian, according to the federal Department of Emergency Management (FEMA).
The shelters were full and closed in the impact zone when Ian arrived and thousands of people chose to leave the coastal areas and move inland to protect their lives.
A few hours before Ian’s arrival, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who warned that it was no longer possible to “evacuate safely,” asked for prayers for those who have decided not to leave their homes in the mandatory evacuation zones. (YO)