As Hurricane Ian hit Florida’s coastal communities, videos posted online show entire homes torn from their foundations by storm surges.
Online clips from Wednesday show homes floating along with flood currents through Fort Myers Beach and Naples. Ian made landfall in Florida while still designated a Category 4 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph, before weakening. Potentially one of the most severe hurricanes to hit Florida, Ian has already caused record flooding in the far southwestern corner of the state.
Spectrum News hurricane specialist Zach Covey posted a video on Twitter of a flooded residential area of Fort Myers Beach with homes “floating down the streets” as they are swept along with debris in the flood current.
A similar scene is shown in a video from Naples further south, with debris and the roof of a submerged house pushed up by the flood current.
“Here’s the harsh reality: It sucked today,” the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post. “It’s not even over. Upgrade to. It will probably get harder before it gets better, but it will get better.”
The post said that while the water will recede, many residents will remain without power and that the next day will be “frustrating and heartbreaking for many.”
As Ian approached Florida, authorities warned coastal communities on the state’s panhandle of “catastrophic” storm surge, which occurs when water is pushed inland from the ocean, which could lead to severe flooding.
The Weather Channel said in a tuit antes Wednesday that storm surge from Ian has caused flooding more than 7 feet high, breaking the previous record set by Hurricane Keith in 1988.
“The impact of this storm is truly deadly,” the channel reported. “Don’t venture into the floods, stay informed and stay safe!”
The Storm Surge Unit of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) Said before Wednesday on Twitter that as Ian moves north, it will cause more swells along the coasts of northeast Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Parts of Southwest Florida, from Englewood to Bonita Beach, could experience catastrophic storm surges, with flooding 12 to 18 feet above ground level, along with destructive waves, the center said. in another tweet.
The NHC reported late Wednesday that Ian had weakened to a Category 3 storm but was still very dangerous because it is moving slowly, at 8 mph.
“Further weakening is expected for the next few days, but Ian could be near hurricane strength as it moves over the east coast of Florida tomorrow, and as it approaches the coasts of northeast Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.” on Friday,” the NHC said in its update.
In its 9 p.m. ET update, the NHC added that Ian continued to “punch the Florida panhandle,” as a University of Florida monitoring station near Punta Gorda reported sustained winds of 55 mph and a gust. 78 mph wind. The station also recorded a gust of 109 mph shortly before 8 p.m.
According to PowerOutage.us, nearly 2 million customers in Florida lost power as of 10 pm ET.
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.