Hurricane Ian Causes Devastation in Florida

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Wind gusts blow across Sarasota Bay as Hurricane Ian churns to the south on September 28, 2022, in Sarasota, Florida. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

Hurricane Ian made landfall as a Category 4 storm on Florida’s southwestern coast on Wednesday afternoon (Thurs morning Pacific time), with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Storm chaser Mike Scantlin was in Punta Gorda on Sept. 28 as winds ripped parts of a hotel off.

The hurricane made landfall as a Category 4 storm, with winds approaching Category 5 status.

The National Weather Service said areas along the Florida coastline could see life-threatening storm surges . (Storm surge is an abnormal rise of water, caused by strong winds from a storm pushing water toward the shore)

More than 1.8 million customers are without power in Florida, according to electricity watchers PowerOutage.us.

AccuWeather meteorologists warn that beyond what Hurricane Ian does as it pummels Florida, the storm will continue to spread flooding rainfall, coastal impacts and the potential for damaging winds northward.

Another landfall hit in the Southeast is becoming increasingly ikely, AccuWeather meteorologists say.

States of emergency have been declared in Georgia, Virginia and the Carolinas in advance of Ian’s arrival, and tropical storm watches and warnings as well as storm surge warnings have been posted.

A quick loss in wind intensity is projected later tonight into tomorrow as Ian slows down and moves inland over Florida.

Despite the fact that Ian will be downgraded on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, the storm’s impacts will worsen and expand in reach across the Southeast, AccuWeather forecasters say.

“No matter how quickly Ian loses wind intensity after moving inland, tropical rainfall is forecast to impact more than half a dozen states into Saturday,” AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Courtney Travis said.

Satellite image of Hurricane Ian shared by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Twitter on Wednesday.
Satellite images have captured bolts of lightning surrounding the eye of Hurricane Ian as it travels across Cuba and towards Florida.