Hurricane Ian devastates Florida’s Gulf Coast

Hurricane Ian: Gif of hurricane over Florida
Hurricane Ian smashed Florida’s Gulf Coast, brought flooding to central Florida, ripped roofs off on the Atlantic Coast and is now a hurricane again as it menaces South Carolina. Image via NOAA/ GOES.

Hurricane Ian devastated Florida’s Gulf Coast

Hurricane Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa, Florida, at 3:05 p.m. ET (19 UTC) on Wednesday, September 28, 2022. It was an intense Category 4 storm with howling winds of up to 155 miles per hour (249 km/h). A devastating storm surge – up to 18 feet (5 m) in depth – hit Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, Florida. People reported widespread power outages, which could last for weeks in the worst-hit areas. The death toll is still being counted.

After going onshore, Ian became a tropical storm, pounding central and eastern Florida with rain. It then emerged over the Atlantic Ocean and once again strengthened to hurricane force. Ian will hit South Carolina midday on Friday.

Ian is “unofficially” the 5th-strongest storm ever to make landfall in the U.S.

Ian’s impact on Florida’s West Coast

Ian left much of the area around Fort Myers Beach in ruins. It took out the causeway leading to the islands of Sanibel and Captiva, cutting them off from the mainland.

The Weather Channel’s Mike Seidel found himself in the eyewall of the hurricane.

Ian’s storm surge in Florida

Storm surge rushed into Charlotte Harbor and the Fort Meyers area as Ian’s eyewall raked the region. Incredibly, water came up out of the bays and inlets as high as 18 feet above normal sea level.

Hurricane Ian hits South Carolina and the East Coast

Hurricane Ian came ashore in South Carolina between Charleston and Myrtle Beach. Storm surge warnings are in place along the coast, and residents are already feeling the damaging winds.

Ian was Category 4 storm

A category five hurricane has winds of 157 mph or higher. Ian was, notably, only two mph away from becoming a category five hurricane. In this case, Ian intensified as it moved over a large fuel source, the warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Hurricane Ian is a historic storm

Ian is unofficially ranked as the 5th-strongest storm ever to make landfall in the United States. Formerly, only four storms have made landfall with winds greater than 155 mph. These include Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and the great Labor Day storm of 1935.

Bottom line: Hurricane Ian made landfall near Fort Myers, Florida, on the afternoon of September 28, 2022. A horrific storm surge swept many homes away and the death toll is still be counted.

Read more: What is a hurricane storm surge?

September 29, 2022

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Deborah Byrd

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