Category 4 Hurricane Ian hits US state of Florida’s coast

Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian has pummeled the US state of Florida’s coast as officials warn the worst is yet to come. The storm made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane along the state’s southwestern coast at around 3pm yesterday. It was then downgraded to a Category 3 storm shortly after. The Collier County sheriff’s office says it is overwhelmed with water rescue calls. A post on the county’s Facebook page read that there are life-threatening emergencies as the deep water continues to rise.

“Some are reporting life-threatening medical emergencies in deep water. We will get to them first. Some are reporting water coming into their house but not life-threatening. They will have to wait. Possibly until the water recedes.”

Yesterday, Collier and Charlotte counties saw mandatory curfews put in place, expiring at 6am today. Lee county is also under curfew with no expiration date set. Hurricane Ian is tied with 2004’s Hurricane Charley for the strongest storm to make landfall on the west coast of the Florida peninsula. Ian’s windspeed is matching that of Charley’s and is already being ranked as one of the top five hurricanes to ever hit the Florida peninsula.

More than 1.8 million Floridians saw power outages yesterday as the storm has set records for the highest water levels ever seen in the cities of Fort Myers and Naples. But meteorologists say the upwards of 12 feet surge has likely peaked and will decrease in the coming hours. But, they say Ian will continue to show hurricane strength throughout today as the centre of the storm passes through Florida’s northeast.

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The storm is expected to hit Orlando and Daytona Beach tomorrow before retreating into the Atlantic Ocean. Hurricane warnings have been issued for the majority of Florida, with other weather advisories already in place. Several eyewitnesses have told CNN that it is the worst storm they have ever seen. The governor has asked US President Joe Biden to approve a major disaster declaration for all 67 counties in Florida. He also requested that the US President grant FEMA the authority to provide 100% federal cost share for emergency protective measures and debris removal for the first two months from the storm’s landfall. Jennifer Dexter, a Fort Myers Beach spokesperson, says the situation is serious.

“When the backup water pump system goes down, that shows you how serious it is. A boil water notice went into effect due to storm surge, loss of power and damage to the backup generators for the drinking water supply.”

Ian’s centre is expected to pass over central Florida Thursday morning. Evacuations are underway in many areas while state of emergencies are now in effect for the states of North and South Carolina, and Virginia.


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Ann Carter

Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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