- Hurricane Ian developed into a Category 4 but teeters on the precipice of becoming a Category 5 as it moves over the Floridian peninsula
- South Florida sustained flooding and damage Tuesday night as the storm’s outer bands moved through the region
- Ian is expected to make a direct impact close to Venice, Florida with historic levels of flooding and rising storm surges
11:00 P.M. Update:
Ian continues to move inland towards central Florida. Impact on the Orlando area can be expected overnight with up to 12 inches of rainfall in localized areas.
The storm will continue to move upwards towards northeast Florida. Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry took preliminary evacuation measures for the city’s coastal area.
As the storm traverses northward, it’s expected to downgrade to a category 1 hurricane, though can still pose a threat to low-lying coastal areas. Storm surges and catastrophic flooding is still to be expected through Jacksonville and southeast Georgia.
10:14 P.M. Update:
Approximately 16 percent of the state is without power, according to Gary Fineout of POLITICO Florida.
As of the latest storm updates, Hurricane Ian has downgraded to a Category 3 and is making its way toward Orlando. Wind speeds have decreased to 115 miles per hour from 155 miles per hour earlier this afternoon.
Flooding is still a major concern across southwest Florida, as recorded surges of more than 10 feet have swept away residential properties and cars.
5:42 P.M. Update:
Ian is covering nearly all of Florida as its eye moves inland. Localized areas of central Florida can expect to receive up to 30 inches of rain overnight and into the morning.
Gov. DeSantis referred to Ian as one of the most powerful storms to ever hit Florida and stated he anticipates major flooding in northeast Florida as the storm moves through the Florida peninsula.
St. John’s County including the city of St. Augustine has issued evacuation orders for coastal and low-lying areas in anticipation of rising water levels throughout the week.
5:19 P.M. Update:
All of east central Florida is being placed under a tornado watch until 1:00 A.M., according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
4:58 P.M. Update:
Hurricane Ian continues to move through southwest Florida, bringing storm surges of 10 to 15 feet and major flooding through residential areas
More than 1 million people are left without power, though electrical linesmen from Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy, and various municipal utility providers are actively working to restore power to homes.
Sustained wind remains steady at 155 miles per hour with 9-mile-an-hour movement north-northeast towards central Florida.
By Thursday morning, Ian will cover much of central Florida including Orange and Seminole counties.
Gov. Ron DeSantis is scheduled to give a briefing at 5:30 P.M. to deliver updates on the state’s storm response efforts.
2:50 P.M. Update:
Hurricane Ian has brought about catastrophic damage to southwest Florida. Storm surges in excess of 10 feet have been recorded alongside major flooding in cities like Fort Myers Beach and Englewood.
Ian is traveling through the region with sustained winds of roughly 155 miles per hour, bringing the storm close to reaching Category 5 status.
Hundreds of thousands of Floridians are without power, though electrical linesmen have already begun work to restore and sustain power to homes across the state.
1:42 P.M. Update:
Emergency vehicles are no longer responding to calls in Sarasota County due to hazardous road conditions.
Extreme flooding is taking place across southwest Florida, with waters reaching several feet high in some areas.
1:03 P.M. Update:
Hurricane Ian is continuing its pathway over southwest Florida. High winds exceeding 155 miles per hour have been recorded alongside flash flooding and widespread power outages.
Gov. DeSantis reports that more than 200,000 people are currently without power in the Gulf Coast region.
— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) September 28, 2022
Palm Beach County schools announced a closure for Thursday, Sept. 29.
11:57 A.M. Update:
High winds have been recorded in the Sarasota area with accompanying flash floods rising as high as stop signs.
According to an FPL tracker, more than 5,000 residents of Palm Beach County remain without power.
11:00 A.M. Update:
Sustained wind remains at 155 miles per hour, though storm cell movement has slowed to 9 miles per hour. The expected landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast is around 11:30 A.M.
Reports of receding shorelines are coming out of Sarasota, and registered power outages are occurring through southwest Florida at large.
11 Waffle House locations are closed across Florida.
As part of its official storm preparedness, FEMA maintains a “Waffle House Index,” which is a color-coded indicator of whether restaurants are open, closed, or serving a restricted menu to determine how well a region would recover from a hurricane, tornado, or other risks.
10:38 A.M. Update
As Florida braces for Hurricane Ian, President Joe Biden directed agencies to surge resources to Florida. 110,000 gallons of fuel, 8,000 pounds of propane, 3.7 million meals, 3.5 million liters of water, 300 ambulances, and 1,300 Federal response workers have surged to the state.
9:55 A.M. Update:
As of 9 A.M., Hurricane Ian developed into a Category 4 hurricane, just 2 miles per hour of wind speed shy of becoming a Category 5.
The storm is expected to cause life-threatening storm surges, catastrophic winds, and flooding in the Florida peninsula. Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday morning that the time has passed to evacuate afflicted areas, recommending those remaining to shelter in place to the best of their ability.
South Florida felt the early effects of Ian’s outer bands, with flooding and downed trees commonplace throughout the region. Two tornados were recorded to have touched down in the region, damaging several planes at a local airport.
According to an unconfirmed report, 17,000 homes in Broward County are without power.
The National Hurricane Center says life-threatening storm surge is expected along the Florida west coast and the Lower Florida Keys where a storm surge warning is in effect, with the highest risk from Naples to the Sarasota region.
Ian’s eye is expected to pass through Central Florida through Wednesday night into Thursday morning before moving over the western Atlantic late Thursday.
The most recent advisory placed Ian 60 miles west of Naples, Florida, and 70 miles southwest of Punta Gorda, Florida. The center of the storm is expected to make a direct impact close to Venice, Florida.
In anticipation of a loss of power throughout large portions of the state, Gov. Ron DeSantis this morning is meeting with powerline workers to discuss strategy after the storm makes an impact.