Hurricane Ian has made landfall in southwestern Florida near Cayo Costa as a massive Category 4 storm.Here’s the latest on Hurricane Ian: Hurricane Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa around 3:05 p.m. ET as an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.Ian currently has maximum sustained winds of 145 mph and is moving north northeast at 9 mph. As of 4 p.m. ET, Ian was located 10 miles west-southwest of Punta Gorda, Florida, and 20 miles northwest of Fort Myers.The storm is expected to cause life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and flooding in the Florida peninsula.The center of Ian is forecast to move over Central Florida Wednesday night and Thursday morning and emerge over the western Atlantic by late Thursday.Hurricane Ian knocked out Cuba’s power grid and work is underway to restore service to the country’s 11 million people.Watch live video coverage above from sister station WESH in Orlando.Live storm coverage is also available for free on your connected TV from Very Local. Download the app hereTracking Ian: The latest cone, models and satellite imagesLATEST CONELATEST MODELSLATEST SATELLITEDetails about IanBefore making its way through the Gulf of Mexico to Florida, Hurricane Ian tore into western Cuba as a major hurricane Tuesday, killing two people and bringing down the country’s electrical grid.Ian made landfall more than 100 miles south of Tampa and St. Petersburg, sparing the densely populated Tampa Bay area from its first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921.The center of the massive Category 4 storm lingered offshore for hours, which was likely to mean more rain and damage from a hurricane that was trudging on a track that would have it making landfall north of the heavily populated Fort Myers area. Catastrophic storm surges could push 12 to 18 feet of water across more than 250 miles of coastline, from Bonita Beach to Englewood, forecasters warned.Fueled by warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Ian grew to a Category 4 hurricane overnight with top winds of 155 mph, on the threshold of the most dangerous Category 5 status, according to the National Hurricane Center.Florida braces for catastrophic damageOff the coast on Sanibel Island near Fort Myers, swirling water-covered residential streets and was halfway up mailbox posts by mid-morning. Seawater rushed out of Tampa Bay, leaving parts of the muddy bottom exposed, and waves crashed over the end of a wooden pier at Naples.Ian’s rapid strengthening prompted Fort Myers handyman Tom Hawver to abandon his plan to weather the hurricane at home and head across the state to Fort Lauderdale.”We were going to stay and then just decided when we got up, and they said 155 mph winds,” Hawver said. “We don’t have a generator. I just don’t see the advantage of sitting there in the dark, in a hot house, watching water come in your house.” Video below: Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Florida, tracks into North Carolina this weekendFlorida residents rushed ahead of the impact to board up their homes, stash precious belongings on upper floors and join long lines of cars leaving the shore.Some chose to stay and ride out the storm. Jared Lewis, a Tampa delivery driver, said his home has withstood hurricanes in the past, though not as powerful as Ian.”It is kind of scary, makes you a bit anxious,” Lewis said. “After the last year of not having any, now you go to a Category 4 or 5. We are more used to the 2s and 3s.”Video below: Key West rain Tuesday morning from Hurricane Ian Emergency response at the readyFlash floods were possible across all of Florida. Hazards include the polluted leftovers of Florida’s phosphate fertilizer mining industry, more than 1 billion tons of slightly radioactive waste contained in enormous ponds that could overflow in heavy rains.Isolated tornadoes spun off the storm well ahead of landfall. One tornado damaged small planes and a hangar at the North Perry Airport, west of Hollywood along the Atlantic coast.More than 450,000 homes and businesses were without electricity, and Florida Power and Light warned those in Ian’s path to brace for days without power.The federal government sent 300 ambulances with medical teams and was ready to truck in 3.7 million meals and 3.5 million liters of water once the storm passes.Gov. DeSantis issues warning Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state has 30,000 linemen, urban search and rescue teams, and 7,000 National Guard troops from Florida and elsewhere ready to help once the weather clears.Catastrophic storm surges could push as much as 12 to 18 feet of water over a nearly 100-mile stretch of coastline, from Bonita Beach north through Fort Myers and Charlotte Harbor to Englewood, the hurricane center warned. Rainfall near the area of landfall could top 18 inches.”It’s time to hunker down and prepare for the storm,” DeSantis said. “Do what you need to do to stay safe. If you are where that storm is approaching, you’re already in hazardous conditions. It’s going to get a lot worse very quickly.”Ongoing closuresAirports in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Key West were closed Wednesday.Walt Disney World announced on Tuesday evening that the parks would be closing due to Hurricane Ian. The parks will be closed Wednesday and Thursday.Universal Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay also announced they will close on Wednesday and Thursday.NASA rolled its moon rocket from the launch pad to its Kennedy Space Center hangar, adding weeks of delay to the test flight.Video below: Space station flies over Hurricane IanPresident Biden declares emergencyAt the White House, President Joe Biden said his administration was sending hundreds of Federal Emergency Management Agency employees to Florida and sought to assure mayors in the storm’s path that Washington will meet their needs. He urged residents to heed to local officials’ orders.”Your safety is more important than anything,” he said.Video below: Hurricane Ian FEMA announcement at White House press briefingBiden previously declared an emergency, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief and provide assistance to protect lives and property. FEMA has strategically positioned generators, millions of meals and millions of liters of water, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.Georgia, South Carolina watch Ian’s pathParts of Georgia and South Carolina also could see flooding rains and some coastal surge into Saturday. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp preemptively declared an emergency, ordering 500 National Guard troops on standby to respond as needed.Cuba without electricity after storm hits power gridHurricane Ian knocked out power across all of Cuba and devastated some of the country’s most important tobacco farms when it slammed into the island’s western tip as a major hurricane.Cuba’s Electric Union said work is being done to gradually restore service to the country’s 11 million people between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.Ian made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane early Tuesday. It devastated Pinar del Río province, where much of the tobacco used to make Cuba’s iconic cigars is grown. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated ahead of Ian’s arrival.Two people were reported dead there.Video below: Hurricane Ian powers into western Cuba

Hurricane Ian has made landfall in southwestern Florida near Cayo Costa as a massive Category 4 storm.

Here’s the latest on Hurricane Ian:

  • Hurricane Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa around 3:05 p.m. ET as an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.
  • Ian currently has maximum sustained winds of 145 mph and is moving north northeast at 9 mph.
  • As of 4 p.m. ET, Ian was located 10 miles west-southwest of Punta Gorda, Florida, and 20 miles northwest of Fort Myers.
  • The storm is expected to cause life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and flooding in the Florida peninsula.
  • The center of Ian is forecast to move over Central Florida Wednesday night and Thursday morning and emerge over the western Atlantic by late Thursday.
  • Hurricane Ian knocked out Cuba’s power grid and work is underway to restore service to the country’s 11 million people.

Watch live video coverage above from sister station WESH in Orlando.

Live storm coverage is also available for free on your connected TV from Very Local. Download the app here


Tracking Ian: The latest cone, models and satellite images

LATEST CONE

LATEST MODELS

LATEST SATELLITE


Details about Ian

Before making its way through the Gulf of Mexico to Florida, Hurricane Ian tore into western Cuba as a major hurricane Tuesday, killing two people and bringing down the country’s electrical grid.

Ian made landfall more than 100 miles south of Tampa and St. Petersburg, sparing the densely populated Tampa Bay area from its first direct hit by a major hurricane since 1921.

The center of the massive Category 4 storm lingered offshore for hours, which was likely to mean more rain and damage from a hurricane that was trudging on a track that would have it making landfall north of the heavily populated Fort Myers area. Catastrophic storm surges could push 12 to 18 feet of water across more than 250 miles of coastline, from Bonita Beach to Englewood, forecasters warned.

Fueled by warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico, Ian grew to a Category 4 hurricane overnight with top winds of 155 mph, on the threshold of the most dangerous Category 5 status, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Florida braces for catastrophic damage

Off the coast on Sanibel Island near Fort Myers, swirling water-covered residential streets and was halfway up mailbox posts by mid-morning. Seawater rushed out of Tampa Bay, leaving parts of the muddy bottom exposed, and waves crashed over the end of a wooden pier at Naples.

Ian’s rapid strengthening prompted Fort Myers handyman Tom Hawver to abandon his plan to weather the hurricane at home and head across the state to Fort Lauderdale.

“We were going to stay and then just decided when we got up, and they said 155 mph winds,” Hawver said. “We don’t have a generator. I just don’t see the advantage of sitting there in the dark, in a hot house, watching water come in your house.”

Video below: Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Florida, tracks into North Carolina this weekend

Florida residents rushed ahead of the impact to board up their homes, stash precious belongings on upper floors and join long lines of cars leaving the shore.

Some chose to stay and ride out the storm. Jared Lewis, a Tampa delivery driver, said his home has withstood hurricanes in the past, though not as powerful as Ian.

“It is kind of scary, makes you a bit anxious,” Lewis said. “After the last year of not having any, now you go to a Category 4 or 5. We are more used to the 2s and 3s.”

Video below: Key West rain Tuesday morning from Hurricane Ian

Emergency response at the ready

Flash floods were possible across all of Florida. Hazards include the polluted leftovers of Florida’s phosphate fertilizer mining industry, more than 1 billion tons of slightly radioactive waste contained in enormous ponds that could overflow in heavy rains.

Isolated tornadoes spun off the storm well ahead of landfall. One tornado damaged small planes and a hangar at the North Perry Airport, west of Hollywood along the Atlantic coast.

More than 450,000 homes and businesses were without electricity, and Florida Power and Light warned those in Ian’s path to brace for days without power.

The federal government sent 300 ambulances with medical teams and was ready to truck in 3.7 million meals and 3.5 million liters of water once the storm passes.

Gov. DeSantis issues warning

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state has 30,000 linemen, urban search and rescue teams, and 7,000 National Guard troops from Florida and elsewhere ready to help once the weather clears.

Catastrophic storm surges could push as much as 12 to 18 feet of water over a nearly 100-mile stretch of coastline, from Bonita Beach north through Fort Myers and Charlotte Harbor to Englewood, the hurricane center warned. Rainfall near the area of landfall could top 18 inches.

“It’s time to hunker down and prepare for the storm,” DeSantis said. “Do what you need to do to stay safe. If you are where that storm is approaching, you’re already in hazardous conditions. It’s going to get a lot worse very quickly.”

Ongoing closures

Airports in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Key West were closed Wednesday.

Walt Disney World announced on Tuesday evening that the parks would be closing due to Hurricane Ian. The parks will be closed Wednesday and Thursday.

Universal Orlando and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay also announced they will close on Wednesday and Thursday.

NASA rolled its moon rocket from the launch pad to its Kennedy Space Center hangar, adding weeks of delay to the test flight.

Video below: Space station flies over Hurricane Ian

President Biden declares emergency

At the White House, President Joe Biden said his administration was sending hundreds of Federal Emergency Management Agency employees to Florida and sought to assure mayors in the storm’s path that Washington will meet their needs. He urged residents to heed to local officials’ orders.

“Your safety is more important than anything,” he said.

Video below: Hurricane Ian FEMA announcement at White House press briefing

Biden previously declared an emergency, authorizing the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief and provide assistance to protect lives and property. FEMA has strategically positioned generators, millions of meals and millions of liters of water, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said.

Georgia, South Carolina watch Ian’s path

Parts of Georgia and South Carolina also could see flooding rains and some coastal surge into Saturday. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp preemptively declared an emergency, ordering 500 National Guard troops on standby to respond as needed.

Cuba without electricity after storm hits power grid

Hurricane Ian knocked out power across all of Cuba and devastated some of the country’s most important tobacco farms when it slammed into the island’s western tip as a major hurricane.

Cuba’s Electric Union said work is being done to gradually restore service to the country’s 11 million people between Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.

Ian made landfall as a Category 3 hurricane early Tuesday. It devastated Pinar del Río province, where much of the tobacco used to make Cuba’s iconic cigars is grown. Tens of thousands of people were evacuated ahead of Ian’s arrival.

Two people were reported dead there.

Video below: Hurricane Ian powers into western Cuba



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