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Hurricane Ian one of strongest storms in U.S. history; 1.6M in Florida without power; 911 callers stranded in homes: Live updates

Written by on September 28, 2022

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Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida’s southwestern coast Wednesday as probably the most highly effective storms in U.S. historical past, tearing aside properties and buildings and leaving some residents stranded as storm surge flooded communities. 

The storm made landfall close to Cayo Costa as a Class four storm Wednesday afternoon with most sustained winds measured at a shocking 150 mph — solely 7 mph slower than a Class 5, the best standing on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale of Hurricane Depth. It slowed because it lashed the state and was downgraded to a Class 2 storm Wednesday evening, the Nationwide Hurricane Heart reported. 

“It’s going to have main, main impacts in phrases of wind, in phrases of rain, in phrases of flooding,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis warned in a briefing Wednesday. “So that is going to be a nasty, nasty day, two days.” 

As of 9 p.m. ET, the storm’s middle was positioned 40 miles northeast of Punta Gorda, Florida — about 85 miles south-southwest of Orlando. The storm was shifting north-northeast at eight mph with weakening most sustained winds at 105 mph, in keeping with the hurricane middle. Ian is forecast to proceed to weaken and transfer slowly over Florida, slamming a lot of the state with life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and flooding, the Nationwide Hurricane Heart mentioned. It then is about to trek north-northwest, probably hitting elements of Georgia and South Carolina. 

Newest developments:

► Practically 2 million are with out energy in Florida, a quantity that is anticipated to proceed to rise. As of 10 p.m. ET, 1.9 million residents reported an outage, according to PowerOutage.us. 

► In Naples, Fla., the first ground of a fire station was inundated with about 3 feet of water and firefighters labored to salvage gear from a firetruck caught exterior the storage in even deeper water, a video posted by the Naples Fireplace Division confirmed.

► Ian’s energy at landfall tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane when measured by wind velocity to strike the U.S. It is tied with five other hurricanes that reached 150 mph two in Florida, two in Louisiana, and one in Texas.

► Residents described the terror after a twister tore by means of a condominium advanced close to Delray Seaside, ripping off roofs and turning over autos. “I felt issues blow previous my head and face,” resident Jim Travis mentioned. “After I opened the door, my condominium was destroyed.” Read more. 

Fast hyperlinks:

GET IAN TEXT UPDATES: Sign up here for text updates on the newest

HURRICANE TRACKER: The place is Ian headed? See the map.

IAN FORECAST: Ian more likely to spend days dumping rain on Florida. Here’s the outlook.

911 callers report being stranded in properties 

Hurricane Ian’s large wind gusts, storm surge and flooding have worn out 911 emergency name facilities and trapped folks of their properties, officers mentioned Wednesday.

The storm pressured the rerouting of emergency calls and delayed responses in Lee, Hendry and Glades counties, DeSantis mentioned throughout a Wednesday night briefing.

And within the coastal metropolis of Naples, the sheriff’s division reported on Fb that it was getting “a big variety of calls of individuals trapped by water of their properties” and that it could prioritize reaching folks “reporting life threatening medical emergencies in deep water.”

Earlier within the day, the sheriff’s workplace mentioned a number of parking garages had flooded with vehicles underwater.

2 million with out energy in Florida. Restoring it may take days, weeks

Utility and tree service vehicles were heading south on I75 near Ocala, FL, as people were preparing for Hurricane Ian on Tuesday, September 27, 2022. Ian is expected to make landfall Venice late Wednesday to early Thursday morning. [Doug Engle/Ocala Star Banner]

Practically 2 million Floridians have been with out energy as of 10 p.m. ET, in keeping with PowerOutage.us. 

“That quantity goes to develop,” DeSantis mentioned. “You’re going to get extra energy outages.”

The huge hurricane may drive Florida Energy & Gentle (FPL) to do a “full rebuild” in some elements of Florida’s west coast, which may take days or perhaps weeks, the utility firm informed CNN.

“What we’re seeing already simply from among the early visuals, we anticipate that there are going to be elements of our system on the West Coast, which can have to be rebuilt and that’s going to take longer — might be a variety of days, might be a matter of weeks, relying on the character of the damages,” mentioned Dave Reuter, chief communications officer for Florida Energy & Gentle.

Extra clients, he mentioned, shall be shedding energy as the trail of the storm crosses central Florida.

Coast Guard seems to be for Cuban migrants after boat sinks off Florida Keys

4 Cuban migrants swam to shore within the Florida Keys, and three others have been rescued from the ocean after their boat sank Wednesday, shortly earlier than Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida. However it’s doable that 20 extra persons are nonetheless lacking, officers mentioned.

The 4 Cubans reached Inventory Island, simply east of Key West, and reported their vessel sank due to inclement climate, U.S. Customs and Border Safety Chief Patrol Agent Walter N. Slosar posted on Twitter.

The U.S. Coast Guard initiated a search and rescue mission for 23 folks and managed to search out three survivors about two miles south of the island chain, officers mentioned. The survivors have been taken to an area hospital for signs of exhaustion and dehydration. Air crews continued to seek for the remaining migrants.

An uprooted tree, toppled by strong winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Ian, rests in a parking lot of a shopping center, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, in Cooper City, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Ian bigger than 2004 Hurricane Charley that triggered 31 deaths

Hurricane Ian is following an eerily related path to the strongest recorded hurricane to hit Southwest Florida — and it’s almost thrice its measurement. 

Hurricane Charley ravaged Southwest Florida in August 2004, and 31 folks died in relation to the hurricane, the CDC said

However regardless of its injury, Charley was a comparatively small hurricane: it was pretty contained to a restricted space in its swath throughout Florida. The worst storm surge was round seven toes in a small space of the state’s west coast. 

Hurricane Ian is far bigger. As of Wednesday morning, its space of hurricane-force winds was almost thrice bigger than Charley’s, as much as 45 miles from the middle, and its space of tropical-storm-force winds prolonged outward as much as 175 miles.

“That is means, means, means larger than Charlie,” DeSantis mentioned throughout a press convention Wednesday. 

Ian’s winds immediate uncommon ‘excessive wind warning’

An excessive wind warning was in impact was in impact for parts of southwest Florida for very harmful hurricane winds as Ian got here ashore. “Deal with these imminent excessive winds as if a twister was approaching and transfer instantly to an inside room or shelter NOW!,” the Nationwide Climate Service warned.

An airplane overturned by a likely tornado produced by the outer bands of Hurricane Ian is shown, Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022, at North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines, Fla.

Storm slowing down means 24 hours of ‘wind pushing water’

Nationwide Climate Service Director Ken Graham mentioned the storm was shifting at 9 mph and was slowing down. It will take 24 hours or extra to cross the state, he mentioned – “24 hours of rainfall, 24 hours of wind pushing the water.”

Some areas will see 24 inches of rain, some will see storm surge of 18 toes, he mentioned.

“This can be a devastating storm for elements of Florida, not simply on the southwest coast however inland,” he mentioned. “That is going to be a storm we are going to discuss for a few years to return. It is a historic occasion.”

Georgia, South Carolina to see Ian’s fury

Ian was anticipated to weaken after landfall, the hurricane middle mentioned, however the storm may stay close to hurricane energy when it strikes over Florida’s east coast Thursday. And will nonetheless maintain its energy because it approaches the northeastern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coasts late Friday.

Heavy rainfall will unfold throughout the Florida peninsula by means of Thursday.

“Widespread, life-threatening catastrophic flooding is anticipated throughout parts of central Florida with appreciable flooding in southern Florida, northern Florida, southeastern Georgia and coastal South Carolina,” the service mentioned in an advisory.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency order for the whole state and mentioned as much as 500 Nationwide Guard troops have been making ready to be referred to as up if wanted. 

FEMA: Storm surge, flooding greatest considerations

Federal Emergency Administration Company Director Deanne Criswell says her greatest concern is the anticipated storm surge and inland flooding from heavy rains because the storm crawls throughout Florida over the following two days. She urged residents throughout the state to heed the warnings of native officers for the “historic and catastrophic impacts that we’re already starting to see.”

“Water is harmful, interval,” Criswell mentioned at a briefing Wednesday. “From coastal storm surge to inland flooding, nearly all of the state of Florida is in Ian’s crosshairs.”

PREPARE YOUR POOL FOR A HURRICANE: Pool owners guide

WAFFLE HOUSE OUTLETS BOW TO IAN:How bad will hurricane hit Florida? Waffle House closures forecast a powerful blast from Ian

WHAT IS STORM SURGE?:Explaining a hurricane’s deadliest and most destructive threat

Hurricane Ian tracker

Tornadoes strike Florida

Tornadoes additionally have been a threat. Twisters have been doable by means of Wednesday evening throughout central and south Florida, the hurricane middle mentioned. CBS4-TV reported that least 10 cellular properties have been broken by a doable twister Tuesday in Davie, a Broward County metropolis of 110,000 folks 25 miles north of Miami. One other doable twister additionally was reported in Broward County.

The Storm Prediction Heart mentioned Wednesday that “the chance of some tornadoes ought to steadily improve throughout elements of central and east-central Florida this afternoon, with a possible focus from Lake Okeechobee northward to close Orlando through the subsequent few hours.”

WHAT IS THE SAFFIR-SIMPSON HURRICANE WIND SPEED SCALE?Breaking down the hurricane category scale

CUBA DEVASTATION:‘Apocalyptic’ photos show Cuba plunged into darkness after Hurricane Ian triggers outage

Ian places Cuba in the dead of night

Cuba remained in the dead of night early Wednesday after Hurricane Ian knocked out its energy grid and devastated properties, companies and helpful tobacco farms when it hit the island’s western tip Tuesday as a Class three storm. Authorities have been working to steadily restore service to the nation’s 11 million folks, Cuba’s Electrical Union mentioned in a press release. 

“The injury is nice, though it has not but been doable to account for it. Help is already pouring in from everywhere in the nation,” Cuban President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez mentioned on Twitter. “Relaxation assured that we are going to get better.”

A dog is walked through floodwater as the tide rises on Sept. 27, 2022, in Key West, Fla., as the first bands of rain associated with Hurricane Ian pass to the west of the island chain.

Airports, transit, theme parks brace for storm

Airports in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Key West have been closed Wednesday. Orlando Worldwide was scheduled to close down at 10:30 a.m., and at the least 700 flights out and in have been canceled by early Wednesday.

Miami-Dade County suspended Metrobus, Metrorail and different transit companies “till additional discover.”  Disney World theme parks and Sea World in Orlando all closed forward of the storm.

A pair from England on trip in Tampa discovered themselves confronted with using out the storm at a shelter. Glyn and Christine Williams of London have been informed to go away their resort close to the seaside when evacuations have been ordered. As a result of the airport shut down, they may get no flight residence.

“Sadly, all of the motels are full or closed, so it seems to be as if we’re going to be in one of many shelters,” Christine Williams mentioned.

President warns oil corporations about value gouging

President Joe Biden on Wednesday warned oil and fuel corporations towards rising costs for customers as Hurricane Ian neared landfall.

“Don’t, let me repeat, don’t use this as an excuse to lift gasoline costs or gouge the American folks,” Biden mentioned firstly of a convention on starvation in America.

Biden mentioned that the hurricane “offers no excuse for value will increase on the pump” and if it occurs, he’ll ask federal officers to find out ”whether or not value gauging is happening.”

Contributing: Douglas Soule and Sergio Bustos, USA At the moment Community-Florida; The Related Press