Hurricane Ian updates LIVE: Winds whip up to 155mph

Hurricane Ian updates LIVE: Florida braces for 18ft storm surge in south west as 130,000 are left without power

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Nearly 2,000 US flights canceled for Wednesday as Ian approaches

Nearly 2,000 US flights within, to or from the United States were canceled Wednesday as Hurricane Ian approaches, according to Flightaware.com.

Orlando International Airport had at least 316 cancellations listed as of Wednesday morning while Miami International Airport had at least 234 cancellations.

American Airlines told NBC News it has canceled a total of 544 flights due to Ian.

Planes at North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines were flipped over by a tornado that blew through as a result of the impending hurricane. 

Breaking: Photos coming in from North Perry Airport in Hollywood, where a possible Tornado touched down. @NWSMiami pic.twitter.com/rhfbfPWWMw

Sen. Marco Rubio: ‘This storm is bigger than the state of Florida’

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. told Fox News on Wednesday that he’s most concerned about the flooding when it comes to impact from Hurricane Ian. 

‘We talk about storm surge. We talk about flooding. We’re talking about people drowning to death, dying because of water is way too high. They had to redo the numbers last night. Storm surge map, they didn’t have a color for 12 to 15 feet.’

‘I worry and now we pray for people who didn’t heed the evacuation warnings,’ Rubio said.

‘This is a massive storm. This storm is bigger than the state of Florida. It’s wider than the peninsula,’ he said.

WATCH: Shocking moment tornado hits a power line in Florida beach as Hurricane Ian moves in

Video footage shows the shocking moment a tornado blew through Delray Beach, Florida and hit a power line sending sparks flying. 

The massive Hurricane Ian appeared on track to slam ashore somewhere north of Fort Myers and some 125 miles south of Tampa.

As the winds reach 155 mph and storm surges are expected to reach 18ft, many counties are also under a tornado watch until 5 p.m. including Brevard, Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties.

 

Life-threatening storm surge up to 18 feet possible due to Ian

As Hurricane Ian is forecast to make landfall on the west coast of Florida as a catastrophic hurricane, up to 18 feet of storm surge is possible.

Officials have warned that the storm surge could reach 18ft, with deadly winds and flooding along the state’s heavily populated Gulf Coast from Bonita Beach to the Tampa Bay region.

The center of Ian is expected to move onshore later this morning or early afternoon and move over central Florida tonight and Thursday morning, emerging over the western Atlantic by late Thursday.

9/28 7am EDT UPDATE: Catastrophic storm surge along with destructive waves from #Ian are expected along the southwest Florida coastline from Englewood to Bonita Beach, including Charlotte Harbor. Residents should urgently follow evacuation orders from local officials. pic.twitter.com/EQ535FGmhY

9 AM EDT 9/28 Tropical Cyclone Update for Hurricane #Ian — @NHC_Surge has increased peak storm surge inundation amounts as seen in the updated text below.https://t.co/WlsRUwRrGz pic.twitter.com/aBC7DALUhc

Sunshine Skyway Bridge closes due to high wind gusts from Hurricane Ian

The Sunshine Skyway Bridge is now closed due to high wind gusts from Hurricane Ian, according to Florida Highway Patrol. 

Troopers said both directions of the bridge will remain closed. 

FHP said the bridge will remain closed until the storm passes the area and the inclement weather subsides. 

#Breaking The Skyway Bridge is now closed to all traffic in both directions & will remain closed until inclement weather from #HurricaneIan subsides. pic.twitter.com/L3x6veObcl

More than 130,000 Floridians without power as Hurricane Ian nears

More than 130,000 customers are without power throughout Central and Southern Florida, according to PowerOutage.us.

Collier County, which includes Naples and Marco Island, is the most affected, with over 32,000 customers out of power, according to the site.

Already about 100,000 customers without power throughout Central and Southern Florida. pic.twitter.com/xqrYXhIPM8

When and where Hurricane Ian will bring tropical storm force winds

Hurricane Ian is about 55 west of Naples, Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center’s 8 a.m. ET update.

‘Ian expected to cause catastrophic storm surge, winds, and flooding in the Florida peninsula starting later today,’ the center said.

Here are some locations that will be impacted by Hurricane Ian and CNN meteorologists expect when conditions begin to deteriorate. 

Punta Gorda/Port Charlotte:

Period of tropical storm-force wind gusts: Now through 9 a.m. Thursday

Period of hurricane-force wind gusts: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. today

Peak winds: Gusts to 110-130 mph+, 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. today

Rainfall expected: 6 to 8 inches

Surge expected: 12 to 16 feet

Sarasota:

Period of tropical storm-force wind gusts: Now to 9 p.m. Thursday afternoon

Period of hurricane-force wind gusts: 3 p.m. today to 2 a.m. Thursday

Peak winds: Gusts 80-90 mph+, 6 p.m. to midnight tonight

Rainfall expected: 10 to 14 inches

Surge expected: 6 to 10 feet

Fort Myers:

Period of tropical storm-force wind gusts: Now through 8 a.m. Thursday

Period of hurricane-force wind gusts: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. today

Peak winds: Gusts to 80-90 mph+, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today

Rainfall expected: 4 to 6 inches

Surge expected: 12 to 16 feet

Tampa:

Period of tropical storm-force wind gusts: 8 a.m. today to Thursday afternoon

Peak winds: Gusts to 60 mph+, 5 p.m. today to Thursday morning

Rainfall expected: 12 to 15 inches

Surge expected: 4 to 6 feet

St. Petersburg:

Period of tropical storm-force wind gusts: Now to 12 a.m. Friday

Peak winds: Gusts to 70 mph+, 8 p.m. tonight to 4 a.m. Thursday

Rainfall expected: 10 to 13 inches

Surge expected: 4 to 6 feet

Time is quickly running out for residents to rush preparations to completion on the southwestern Florida peninsula as Hurricane #Ian nears.

Tropical-Storm-Force winds already beginning to affect coast. Conditions will rapidly deteriorate & catastrophic wind damage is expected. pic.twitter.com/eHhEwPNLoY

Gov. DeSantis on Hurricane Ian: ‘It’s no longer possible to safely evacuate’

Gov. DeSantis has warned that Hurricane Ian is ‘knocking on the door’ of a Category 5 storm and wants Floridians to prepare for ‘major impact’ ahead of making landfall with winds hitting 155pmh. 

DeSantis warned those in Collier, Charlotte and Sarasota county that it was ‘too late’ to leave and urged anyone still out on the roads to get to a ‘safe place as soon as possible.’

He added that Ian was ‘knocking on the door’ of a Category 5, and confirmed that 40,000 homes have already been reported across the state.

Tornado Watch issued for several counties in Florida

A tornado watch has been issued for parts of Florida until Wednesday at 5 p.m.

‘Several tornadoes’ are likely as Hurricane Ian advances upon Florida’s west coast, according to the National Weather Service in Tampa Bay.

The watch will be in place until 5 p.m.

A tornado watch has been issued for parts of Florida until 5 PM EDT pic.twitter.com/fHVWgb0I2p

Strong winds caused by Hurricane Ian have damaged homes in southern Florida, even before the Category 4 made landfall.

Residents at a mobile home park in Davie, Florida, surveyed the damage to their homes after heavy winds tore down trees. 



Hurricane Ian is set to make landfall in Charlotte County on the southwestern coast of Florida, the state’s governor Ron DeSantis said this morning.

Hurricane Ian is rapidly intensifying and maximum sustained winds have increased to nearly 155mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest update.

If the sustained winds surpassed 156mph, the hurricane will be upgraded to a devastating Category 5 storm – the most extreme type of storm.

DeSantis said during an early morning press conference that the Category 4 storm was ‘knocking on the door of a Category 5 storm’, adding that Hurricane Ian will hit Florida as a ‘major hurricane’. 

Cuba had slowly begun to restore power across the eastern end of the island, the state electricity provider said early on Wednesday, after Hurricane Ian caused the country’s grid to collapse, turning off the lights for more than 11 million people.

Cuba’s already frail grid, largely dependent on antiquated, Soviet-era oil-fired generation plants, had been faltering for months ahead of the storm.

But officials said Hurricane Ian had proven too much, knocking out power even in far eastern Cuba, which was largely unaffected by the storm.

By early morning Wednesday, officials said some power had been restored to the areas with the least storm damage.

“There has been a greater advance in the restoration of the {National Electric System} in the eastern region, since the transmission and distribution network are integrated without being affected by the passage of Ian,” the power provider said in a statement on local media.

Further west in Cuba, nearer the capital Havana, the process would be slower and more “complicated,” the generator said.

Havana caught the tail end of Ian as it barreled off the island and into the Gulf of Mexico towards Florida, leaving the city of more than 2 million strewn with a tangled mess of downed trees, trash and electrical and telephone wire.

The southwest Florida coastline will be hit by a ‘catastrophic’ storm surge of up to 16 feet above ground level along with destructive waves.

Residents along the coastline – from Englewood to Bonita Beach, including Charlotte Harbor – have been urged to follow evacuation orders before the hurricane hits.

The National Hurricane Center said ‘catastrophic’ wind damage is also expected along the southwestern coast of Florida, which will begin in the next few hours where the core of Hurricane Ian makes landfall.

Sep 28 7am EDT — Here are the key messages from the special advisory issued on Hurricane #Ian.

Catastrophic storm surge inundation expected today as Ian moves ashore in the southwest Florida peninsula.

Latest: https://t.co/tnOTyg5UEw pic.twitter.com/cCHGT11wTF

Hurricane is rapidly intensifying and maximum sustained winds have increased to nearly 155mph, the National Hurricane Center said in its latest update.

If the sustained winds surpassed 156mph, the hurricane will be upgraded to a devastating Category 5 storm – the most extreme type of storm.

 

635 AM EDT 28 September — Recent data from a @NOAA_HurrHunter aircraft indicate #Ian is rapidly intensifying & max sustained winds are now up to 155 mph.

This information will be reflected in a special advisory to be issued by 7 AM EDT (1100 UTC).https://t.co/tnOTyfORCw pic.twitter.com/PpJtlb5KzQ

The polluted leftovers of Florida’s phosphate fertilizer mining industry, more than 1 billion tons in ‘stacks’ that resemble enormous ponds, are at risk for leaks or other contamination when Hurricane Ian comes ashore in the state, environmental groups say.

Florida has 24 such phosphogypsum stacks, most of them concentrated in mining areas in the central part of the state. About 30 million tons of this slightly radioactive waste is generated every year, according to the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute.

‘A major storm event like the one we are bracing for can inundate the facilities with more water than the open-air ponds can handle,’ Ragan Whitlock, staff attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity environmental group, said.

‘We are extremely concerned about the potential impacts Hurricane Ian may have on phosphate facilities around the state,’ Whitlock added.

A spill could seriously damage rivers and other wetlands near the stacks, according to Jim Tatum of the Our Santa Fe River nonprofit group.

A leak in March 2021 at a stack called Piney Point resulted in the release of an estimated 215 million gallons of polluted water into Tampa Bay, causing massive fish kills.

State officials, overseen by a court-appointed receiver, are working with a $100 million appropriation to shut down that long-troubled location.

Hurricane Ian has strengthened into an ‘extremely dangerous’ Category 4 storm, the National Hurricane Center said on Wednesday, as it bore down on the western coast of Florida.

The Miami-based center said Hurricane Ian now has top sustained winds of 140 mph and is centered about 75 miles west-southwest of Naples, Florida. It said Ian is moving north at a forward speed of 10 mph.

Here, the NHC’s hurricane simulation video shows the potential impact a Category 4 storm would have on a house. 

Here, the US National Hurricane Center explains what the different categories of hurricanes mean:

Category 1:

Sustained winds of 74-95 mph

Very dangerous winds will produce some damage: Well-constructed frame homes could have damage to roof, shingles, vinyl siding and gutters. Large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Extensive damage to power lines and poles likely will result in power outages that could last a few to several days.

Category 2

Sustained winds of 96-110mph

Extremely dangerous winds will cause extensive damage: Well-constructed frame homes could sustain major roof and siding damage. Many shallowly rooted trees will be snapped or uprooted and block numerous roads. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks.

Category 3

Sustained winds of 111-129mph

Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.

Category 4

Sustained winds of 130-156mph

Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Category 5

Sustained winds of 157mph or higher

Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

More than 17,000 people in Florida were left without power in Florida on Wednesday morning, even before Hurricane Ian made landfall. 

The Florida Power and Light Company reported 17,255 outages across several counties in Florida, reports NBC News. 

In Broward, there were more than 6,700 outages while there were 5,700 outages in Miami-Dade.

The US Hurricane Center said that a ‘life-threatening’ storm surge is expected along the Florida west coast and the Lower Florida Keys where a storm surge warning is in effect, with the highest risk from Naples to the Sarasota region. 

Hurricane-force winds are also expected in southwest and west-central Florida beginning Wednesday morning, the center said.

‘Catastrophic wind damage is expected near the core of Ian when it moves on shore,’ the NHC said, adding that heavy rainfall will spread across the Florida peninsula through Thursday.

Here are the 5 AM EDT 9/28 Key Messages for Category 4 Hurricane #Ian. More info: https://t.co/tW4KeGe9uJ pic.twitter.com/pfjRjEncLC

Here is the latest rainfall 5-day rainfall forecast for Hurricane #Ian Created 4:38 AM EDT 9/28 pic.twitter.com/qMl8AMwHGZ

Here is the latest peak storm surge forecast for Hurricane #Ian Issued 5 AM EDT 9/28 pic.twitter.com/mhkzaXnWYX

Hurricane Ian has strengthened into an ‘extremely dangerous’ Category 4 storm, the National Hurricane Center said on Wednesday, as it bore down on the western coast of the US state of Florida.

‘Air Force hurricane hunters find Ian has strengthened into an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane,’ the NHC said in an advisory issued at 5 am (0900 GMT), adding the storm was ‘expected to cause life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and flooding’.

The Miami-based center said Hurricane Ian now has top sustained winds of 140 mph and is centered about 75 miles west-southwest of Naples, Florida. It said Ian is moving north at a forward speed of 10 mph.

Hurricane #Ian Advisory 22: Air Force Hurricane Hunters Find Ian Has Strengthened Into An Extremely Dangerous Category 4 Hurricane. Expected to Cause Life-Threatening Storm Surge, Catastrophic Winds and Flooding in the Florida Peninsula. https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB

Cuba remained in the dark early Wednesday after Hurricane Ian knocked out its power grid and devastated some of the country’s most important tobacco farms when it hit the island’s western tip as a major storm.

Authorities were working overnight to gradually restore service to the country’s 11 million people, according to a statement from Cuba’s Electric Union.

Power was initially knocked out to about 1 million people in Cuba’s western provinces, but later the entire grid collapsed.

Ian hit a Cuba that has been struggling with an economic crisis and has faced frequent power outages in recent months.

It made landfall as a Category 3 storm on the island’s western end, devastating Pinar del Rio province, where much of the tobacco used for Cuba’s iconic cigars is grown.

Tens of thousands of people were evacuated and others fled the area ahead of the arrival of Ian, which caused flooding, damaged houses and toppled trees.



Hurricane Ian is expected to directly hit Florida on Wednesday afternoon, with forecasters warning of life-threatening storm surges and ‘devastating’ winds after it killed at least two people and left millions without power in Cuba.

As of 2am (0500GMT), mandatory evacuation orders had been issued in a dozen coastal Florida counties, with voluntary evacuation recommended in several others, officials said.

In an advisory issued around the same time, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said it expected the Category 3 storm to strengthen until making landfall.

‘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,’ the NHC said, calling the storm ‘an extremely dangerous major hurricane.’

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said on Tuesday that Ian would ‘likely make landfall as a Category 4 hurricane.’

@NHC_Atlantic #HurricaneIan 9/28 0200 update. pic.twitter.com/8QRsVL9SJ3

Florida residents are rushing to board up their homes and many are panic buying water and essentials at supermarkets before fleeing from the oncoming Hurricane Ian. 

But one social media user posted footage of one resident buying a flat-screen TV instead.

People out here panic buying water and essentials for the hurricane. Meanwhile, this guy is out here panic buying a flat screen tv. #HurricaneIan pic.twitter.com/bLWfZMgbwb

Satellite images have shown Hurricane Ian’s approach towards Florida, as the US National Hurricane Center predicted Ian could become a catastrophic Category 4 hurricane before roaring ashore on Florida’s southwest coast on Wednesday afternoon. 

Winds exceeding tropical-storm strength of 39 mph reached Florida by 3 a.m. on Wednesday morning and hurricane-force winds were expected in the state well in advance of the eyewall moving inland, the Miami-based center said.

I'm not sure how many truly grasp what just happened tonight with Hurricane #Ian. It went through a full eyewall replacement cycle, hardly blinked, grew by 50% (as measured by its RMW), and delivered the 3rd highest storm surge since 1913 to Key West in the process. Just wow. pic.twitter.com/UmbuA8gJ7v

Isolated tornadoes spawned from Hurricane Ian have been seen in Florida, prompting officials to warn residents of the dangers of the storm.

The National Weather Service warned of a tornado in Broward County on Tuesday evening.

Tornado Warning including Jupiter FL, Tequesta FL and Jupiter Inlet Colony FL until 3:30 AM EDT pic.twitter.com/kJhrmWGjci

At least two people have been reported dead in the tobacco-rich province of Pinar del Rio in western Cuba after Hurricane Ian hit the island.

About 40,000 people were evacuated across the province, which bore the brunt of the storm, as residents described ‘destruction’ and posted images on social media of flooded streets and felled trees.

In Consolacion del Sur, southwest of Havana, 65-year-old Caridad Fernandez said her roof was seriously damaged and water came through her front door.

‘Everything we have is damaged,’ she said. ‘But we’ll get through this, we’ll just keep moving forwards.’




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