- Torrential rainfall is causing flooding across parts of Central Florida
- The slow-moving Ian, now a tropical storm, is still packing 65mph winds
- Gov. Ron DeSantis will update the media on storm recovery efforts at 8:30am
- Power restoration efforts are already underway across the state as more than 2.5 million are without power
- State insurance officials issued an emergency order barring property insurers from cancelling policies for 60 days
The National Hurricane Center officially downgraded Ian at its 5am update, but the now tropical storm was still packing 65 mph winds and was forecast to continue dumping torrential rainfall throughout Thursday. The storm is currently centered over Titusville, and is expected to exit the peninsula with the next couple of hours, swinging out into the Atlantic before curving northwards to make landfall again in South Carolina or Georgia.
Governor Ron DeSantis is scheduled to brief the media at an 8:30am press conference at the state’s Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee. Among the top priorities: restoring power to more than 2.5 million customers affected by the storm. Power restoration and recovery efforts are already underway in several coastal counties, including hardest-hit Lee County, which has issued a curfew in place overnight while crews worked to restore power to more than 421,000 customers who lost power there. More than 50,000 Lee customers still have power.
Florida utilities have crews working even during the storm, as weather permits. They are prioritizing critical facilities like hospitals, police and fire stations, communication facilities, water treatment plants and transportation providers, while working to safely restore power to the largest number of customers in the shortest amount of time. Thousands of crews have been deployed across the state.
State insurance officials issued an emergency order yesterday that bars property insurers from exiting the state or cancelling policies in Florida for the next sixty days. Policyholders are assured their policies will remain in effect until November 28th, 2022 unless the order is extended. Similar measures have been undertaken in the aftermath of previous storms.