Florida Faces Hurricane Ian, One Of The Strongest Hurricanes US Has Ever Seen
Slow-moving Ian had become a Category 2 storm by late in the day.
On Wednesday, Hurricane Ian, one of the strongest hurricanes officially recorded in the United States, flooded southwest Florida, knocked out electricity for 1.8 million people, and threatened devastating destruction further inland.
A sheriff's office on the coastline said it was receiving several calls from residents who were stranded in their houses. On social media, those in need issued appeals for assistance for themselves or their loved ones.
The hurricane's eye made landfall Wednesday afternoon not far from Cayo Costa, a secure barrier island to the west of Fort Myers, Florida. Water flowed from Tampa Bay as it drew near. Storm Ian struck western Cuba on Tuesday as a strong hurricane, killing 2 people and taking down the nation's electrical infrastructure before moving across the Gulf of Mexico to Florida.
Lan was moving inland at a speed of around 14 km/h, and while it was predicted that it would diminish to a tropical storm, its hurricane-force winds were likely to reach well into central Florida. After reaching landfall, the peak sustained winds decreased to 170 km/h, downgrading the storm to Category 2.
However, northeast Florida on the other side of the state was predicted to have storm surges as big as two meters.
For "life-saving objectives," Charlotte County's, Sheriff Bull Prummell declared a curfew from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. local time, warning that breaches might be charged with a 2nd-degree misdemeanor. Charlotte County is located immediately north of Fort Myers.
He declared, "I am imposing this curfew as a method of safeguarding the citizens and assets of Charlotte County.
Canadians are advised not to visit Florida
Jackson Boone fled his coastal house and took refuge in his Venice law firm with his staff members and their animals. Boone once unlocked a door to a sideways rainstorm and a roaring wind.
Boone stated over the phone, "We're witnessing tree damage, horizontal rain, and severe wind." "Our oak tree, which is almost 50 years old, has fallen over."
Travel to the Florida Panhandle is strongly discouraged, according to Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Canadians in the region who require consular help should dial 1-613-996-8885 or send a text message to 1-613-686-3658 to GAC's Emergency Watch and Response Centre. Alternatively, people can contact \ using WhatsApp at +1-613-909-8881 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
According to spokeswoman Charlotte MacLeod, Global Affairs Canada has so far heard four requests for consular assistance in connection with Hurricane Ian.
Joint fifth-strongest storm to strike the United States
A clip provided by the Naples Fire Department revealed that the 1st floor of a fire station in Naples was submerged by roughly one meter of water, while firemen struggled to retrieve equipment from a fire engine trapped outside the garage in much deeper water.
A sheriff's department in Naples, Collier County, wrote on Facebook that it was getting "a statistically significant number of phone calls" from people who were "trapped by water in their residences," and that it would prioritize assisting those who were "actually reporting life-threatening medical emergencies in deep water."
Ian's wind speed at the time of landfall matched that of the previous four hurricanes, making it the fifth-strongest hurricane to strike the United States. One of these was Hurricane Charley, which made landfall on Florida's coast in August 2004 and caused $14 billion in damages and the deaths of 10 people.
"Not quite out of danger"
Even though more than 2.5 million individuals were subject to compulsory evacuation orders, nobody could be compelled to leave. The governor said that the nation is prepared to assist as the weather clears with 30,000 linemen, urban search and recovery teams, and 7,000 National Guard members from Florida and other states.
Florida people hastened to board up their houses before the hit, store valuables on upper levels, and join the long lines of automobiles leaving the beach.
Some chose to attempt to endure the storm. Jared Lewis, a deliveryman in Tampa, claimed that his house has previously weathered storms, though not one as strong as Ian.
Lewis stated, "It's sort of alarming and makes you a little worried." "After not having any the previous year, you now go to a Category 4 or 5. The 2s and 3s are more familiar to us."
Ian missed the heavily populated Tampa Bay region, which had been waiting for more than 160 kilometers south of Tampa and St. Petersburg for a straight impact from a hurricane since 1921. Authorities cautioned Tampa inhabitants that there was still a chance for severe gusts and up to 50 cm of rain.
Tampa Mayor Jane Castor pleaded with people in a video sent to Twitter, "Please, please, kindly be informed that we are not yet safe." Flooding will continue to happen.
Power blackouts are expected
All of Florida might experience flash floods. One billion tons of trash, some of it slightly radioactive, are stored in vast ponds that might overflow after heavy rains and are contaminated by Florida's phosphate fertilizer mining industry.
Before the storm made an impact, a few isolated tornados blew ahead of the storm. A tornado wrecked small planes and a hangar at the North Perry Airport, which is situated along the Atlantic coast west of Hollywood.
Once the storm has passed, the federal government prepared to truck in 3.7 million meals and 3.5 million liters of water, and 300 ambulances with medical personnel.
President Joe Biden stated on Wednesday, "We'll be there to assist you to clear up and restore, to help Florida get started again." "And we'll be there for you at every turn. That is the one promise I have to the residents of Florida."
For all sixty-seven of the state's counties, DeSantis has asked Biden to issue a Major Disaster Declaration, which would make a variety of federal aid programs for citizens and cash for infrastructural repairs. DeSantis has also asked Biden to give the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) a 60-day extension to remove debris and take urgent safety precautions at no expense to the federal government.
In advance, the governors of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia all declared states of emergency. Forecasters predicted that after crossing Florida, Ian will move towards such states as a tropical storm, perhaps dumping more torrential rains throughout the weekend.
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