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Florida Braces for Impact as Hurricane Ian strengthens

National

Hurricane Ian | Image by KHOU

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More than one million Florida residents have lost power as Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida as a category 4 hurricane, according to PowerOutage.us.

The storm has 155 miles per hour winds and caused flooding all around the gulf coast area. The storm is said to be one of the most powerful ever recorded, according to Associated Press.

Videos on social media show strong gusts blowing trees sideways and torrential flooding that trapped cars in the water.

“This is a big one,” Governor Ron DeSantis said in an address via Twitter. “And I think we all know there’s going to be major, major impacts.”

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office reports that they received several calls of residents trapped in their homes due to flooding. Collier County, home to some 370,000 residents, is also experiencing a large number of power outages.

According to the National Hurricane Center, the eye of the storm landed first on Cayo Costa state park at 3:05 p.m. and moved toward the mainland 30 minutes later.

Officials in Tampa cautioned residents to shelter in place, according to NBC Florida.

“You should not be out in traffic, driving on the roads,” Tampa Fire Chief Barbara Tripp said, who also warned residents that if the storm continued to intensify, emergency services would be unable to respond to emergencies.

Fires have occurred as a result of down powerlines, local emergency services have reported.

The hurricane already left a trail of destruction in Cuba before moving on toward Florida.

More than two tornados have been spotted along with the hurricane, reports Axios.

Those tornados have caused damage to vehicles and buildings in Broward County.

The National Hurricane Center released an update that Hurricane Ian is expected to move across Central Florida tonight and tomorrow before eventually weakening as it goes along. The center expects the storm to threaten north-eastern Florida as well as the Georgia and South Carolina coasts.

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