Ian, now a tropical storm, causing ‘catastrophic’ flooding in Florida


Tropical Storm Ian continued to pass through Florida on Thursday morning and was causing “catastrophic” flooding in east-central regions of the state, the National Hurricane Center said, warning that Ian could “produce life-threatening flooding, storm surges and gusty winds in parts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.”

Ian made landfall in southwest Florida as a Category 4 major hurricane, just ahead of a Category 5 hurricane, as one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the United States.

It left people trapped in homes and large swaths of the state without power. Nearly 2.6 million homes and businesses were in the dark shortly after 8 a.m. ET, according to poweroutage.us.

The hurricane center said Ian’s center was “expected to move off the east-central Florida coast soon and then approach the South Carolina coast on Friday. The center will move further to inland across the Carolinas Friday night and Saturday.” Intensification is forecast, and Ian could be near hurricane strength when it approaches the South Carolina coast Friday. Weakening is expected on Friday evening and Saturday after Ian moves inland.”

The center said: “Wide and life-threatening catastrophic flash and urban flooding, with major flooding at record high along rivers, will continue in central Florida. eastern South Carolina tomorrow through the weekend.”

As of 8 a.m. ET Thursday, Ian’s center was about 40 miles east of Orlando and 10 miles west of Cape Canaveral. It was moving northeast at 8 mph, with maximum sustained winds of 65 mph. Sustained winds of 74 mph are needed for a storm to reach hurricane status.


Ian weakens in tropical storm, moves to Orlando

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