Hurricane Ian arrived in western Florida on Wednesday as a Category 4 cyclone with winds of more than 150 mph, causing catastrophic flooding in several locations.
Ian made the land close key coastin the southwest of the peninsula, as a hurricane “extremely dangerous” at 15:05 local time (7:05 pm GMT), according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).
The hurricane produced a storm surge several meters high that flooded large parts of the southwest coast of Florida.
More of 1,6 millohaes of households they were without electricity nationwide, out of a total of 11 million, with more outages expected as the storm progresses.
“Es one of the five worst hurricanes to hit the Florida panhandleFlorida Governor Ron DeSantis said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Anthony Reynes, a meteorologist at the NHC in Miami, told the BBC storm surge is likely to be historic.
“It’s such a big storm and it has such a healthy structure that it’s going to take time to eventually weaken as it moves over land.”
By 20:00 local time (00:00 GMT) on Wednesday, the NHC reported that the hurricane had downgraded to Category 3 and was expected to continue weakening over the hours as it moved northeast.
In various places they ordered curfews to prevent theft and looting.
From Fort Myers they came wonderful imagesin which part of the city is under water.
Marco Island, in southwest Florida and connected by bridges to the city of Naples, was also flooded in some areas.
Severe flooding was also reported in Naples. Images show firefighters waist-deep in water at one of their stations.
In the video posted on Facebook, firefighters are seen struggling to load their equipment onto emergency vehicles amid floods.
According to NOAA data, the city saw water levels of more than 2.74 meters on Wednesday around 5 p.m.
Ian’s trajectory is expected to continue north, large urban centers warn as Orlando.
Ian’s damage has been reported since early Wednesday morning, with damage caused by strong winds, storm surge and sporadic tornadoes.
Most of the Florida panhandle is under a state of emergency.
“catastrophic tidal wave”
Ian’s storm surge is “catastrophic” in cities like Fort Myers or Punta Gorda, with sea level rise of several meters and water entering residential areas.
Accuweather experts said the storm surge could “completely change” the appearance of some of the islands on Florida’s southwest coast.
Hours before the storm’s arrival, Manatee County Manager Scott Hope said they estimated they received about 120,000 people who were in the mandatory evacuation zones.
He said there were only about 3,000 people in the shelters that had been set up.
“We hope that they were able to hide in the house of one of their friends,” said Hope.
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