Hurricane Ian landed in southwest Florida as an intense Category 4 hurricane around 4 PM yesterday.
Throughout the night and morning today, Ian carved a destructive path through central Florida, leaving behind once-in-10-lifetimes storm surge and flooding and extreme wind damage as it slowly weakened to a tropical storm.
Now, Ian has exited the state of Florida and is passing over warm Gulf Stream waters as it begins a slow recurve up and back towards the South Carolina coast. With plenty of steam left and ample warm water below, now-Tropical Storm Ian is expected to re-strengthen into a hurricane before it makes landfall again, this time on the east coast.
Behind the Storm in Florida, thousands of Floridians are trapped by floodwaters and impassable roads, with hundreds more feared dead.
Rescuers are moving in behind the Storm’s winds as they pass, rushing to save people calling for aid across multiple Florida counties.
At a news conference, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said, “We’ve never seen a storm surge of this magnitude. The amount of water that’s been rising and will likely continue to rise today even as the Storm passes is basically a 500-year flooding event.”
911 centers have been inundated with thousands of calls for urgent aid, including many people with life-threatening emergencies. The Coast Guard is responding along with multiple search and rescue teams – including the beloved Cajun Navy.
One resident said after being rescued from a flooded home, “We were happy to get out. It was very, very bad.”