Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwestern Florida, near Cayo Costa, on Wednesday, September 28. It did so with winds of 240 km / h, strengthened to category 4, although hours later it weakened to category 2. The National Hurricane Center warned of “catastrophic” damage due to powerful air currents. Several cities have already experienced the effects of the hurricane with strong winds and storm surges, as well as flooding.
The first impact was near Cayo Costa, west of the state of Florida. There, Hurricane Ian made landfall with winds of about 240 km/h and was category 4, the second highest on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
A few hours after making landfall, Ian weakened to Category 2. However, this did not prevent it from having devastating effects. Torrential rains and storm surges of up to more than two meters high characterize the panorama of the west coast of Florida. Meteorologists and authorities already predict that it will be one of the most powerful storms that has passed through the United States in its history.
Before the first impact, the United States National Hurricane Center had warned that “conditions will deteriorate rapidly” and that “catastrophic wind damage is expected.”
For his part, the governor of Florida, Ron de Santis, assured that the state will experience “unpleasant” days and also reiterated that “it will get worse very quickly.” At the same time, he asked citizens to protect themselves and remain attentive to the recommendations of the authorities. He also assured on his Twitter account that “Florida is ready to respond.”
#HurricaneIan is making landfall now. Florida is ready to respond. We have fleets of highwater vehicles, 42,000 linemen, 7,000 National Guardsmen and 179 aircraft prepared to help.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) September 28, 2022
US authorities had asked about 2.5 million people to evacuate. However, many decided to stay in their homes and many users have shown images of the ferocity of the water that the hurricane is dragging in various parts of Florida.
Pine Island experienced the eyewall of Hurricane Ian
Just behind Cayo Costa, where the hurricane made landfall, is Pine Island. The largest island on Florida’s Gulf Coast felt the effects of the eye of the hurricane. This, as shown it is a ring of tall thunderstorms that produce heavy rain and usually the strongest winds.
Videos from Reed Timmer, a meteorologist and storm chaser, account for the huge waves and rain hitting the island.
Fort Myers, one of the first most populous cities, affected
Submerged by floods, the city of more than 60,000 inhabitants, Fort Myers, feels the effects of Ian strongly. Floating cars and houses completely covered by water could be seen in multiple videos posted on social networks.
Meteorologist Mike Bettes posted on his Twitter account the situation of one of the city’s avenues. “This camera is 6 feet off the ground on Estero Blvd in Fort Myers Beach, FL,” he said.
The situation led many to leave before Ian’s arrival. So did Tom Hawver, who had planned to stay home because of the hurricane but ultimately decided to go to Fort Lauderdale.
“I just don’t see the advantage of sitting there in the dark, in a hot house, watching water come into your house,” he said.
Naples decrees a curfew before the arrival of the hurricane
Further south of Fort Myers, the city of Naples issued a curfew on Wednesday. There, the authorities demanded that the population stay in a safe place and asked them not to try to drive.
“The City of Naples issued a citywide emergency curfew to protect and safeguard the health, safety, and welfare of City of Naples residents, visitors, and first responders,” a statement read. to the city.
In social networks, several videos show the fire station submerged under water.
Likewise, you can see the great avenues of the city flooded.
Tampa, the city where the sea “disappeared”
Prior to Ian’s arrival in Florida, strong winds were blowing the sea away from the coast. A phenomenon that left multiple images of desert beaches.
Despite this, the city’s mayor, Jane Castor, posted a warning on her Twitter account: “Please, please keep in mind that we are not out of the woods yet.”
In addition, the mayor assured that Ian’s trajectory will no longer pass directly through Tampa but asked not to lower our guard and reiterated that it could continue to cause flooding and power outages.
Blackouts and flight cancellations
Another effect Ian is having on the state is power outages. According to PowerOutage.us, more than a million people have already been affected.
At the same time, weather conditions have led to the cancellation of multiple flights. The FlightAware site shows that more than 2,000 flights in the US have been canceled this Wednesday.
Tampa and Fort Myers airports remain closed.
With Reuters, AP and local media