Hurricane Ian Pummels Florida, Prepares for Second Hit

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Hurricane Ian made landfall on Florida's southwest coast pummeling the region with sustained 155mph winds, downing trees, power lines, dumping rain, and driving deadly storm surge inland, as it slowly crawled across the state delivery catastrophic destruction.

After gaining strength in the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Ian, at just shy of Category 5 strength, made landfall at Cayo Costa, south of Tampa Bay, and began its 400-mile track across the state bringing record amounts of rain and with that the threat of flash floods.


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"In southwest and central Florida, about a dozen people were reported dead so far due to the storm. One person who was in hospice care died in Osceola County, Emergency Management Director Bill Litton said; about five people are believed to have died in Lee County, the sheriff said; and six deaths were reported in Charlotte County," reported CNN.

With the first images of the devastation emerging, the shocking devastation is substantial, widespread, and palpable. Astonishing lengthy wide band debris fields show disintegrated homes, piles of shredded rubble, submerged automobiles, and washed away bridges and roads.


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Fort Meyers, Florida boardwalk has some buildings still standing, although the area is filled with twisted steel, down power lines, traffic signals and light poles, overturned concrete pylons, boats scooped up and piled on top of each other, others wedged into housing complexes, downed trees and areas of the Sanibel bridge washed completely away.

Proving to be formidable, Ian remained at Cat 4 strength, with winds of 130-2256 miles per hour, two hours after landfall, cutting a swath across the inland peninsula, and was only downgraded to a Cat 3 hurricane, with sustained winds of 111-129 mph hours, after two hours on land, which is extremely unusual as traditionally landfall disrupts the storm's organization, with no warm water to refuel.


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Ian is proving to be a rain maker, as it slowly crawls across the state, at 9 miles per hour. Even two hours after landfall, Hurricane Ian has maintained its strength and structure. Unprecedented storm surge coupled with the annual king tide followed by high tide drove 6.2 feet of water, from Cayo Costa to Naples.

Power loss was expected, and Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis had staged post storm supplies and crew in Louisiana to provide quick deployment, Florida Power official couldn't begin until winds dropped below 35mph which will be stalled due to on the ground conditions, flooding and overwhelming debris piles.


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More than 2.5million Floridians remain without power, as Ian's high winds continued to knock down power lines from the southwest coast across the state east as it traveled across Florida's center. The track of the storm moved from the Gulf side through the Everglades toward Orlando and onto Daytona Beach.

At this time Hurricane Ian is expected to regain some organization and strength over the warm waters of the Atlantic and make a second landfall on Friday between northern Georgia and southern South Carolina as a Cat 1, with sustained winds of 74 to 95 mph.

"This could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida's history. The numbers are still unclear, but we're hearing early reports of what may be substantial loss of life," Biden said during a visit to Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters for a briefing on the hurricane response," reported The Hill.

Hurricane Ian is expected to move out to shore, over open warm waters, before taking a curve for a second landfall, as a tropical storm.

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