Hurricane Ian: Florida pummelled by one of the most powerful storms in US history (VIDEO)



One of the most powerful storms in US history has barrelled into Florida's southwest coast with sustained winds of up to 150mph (241kph) and torrential rain. 

 
Hurricane Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa as an 'extremely dangerous' category 4 storm but was close to being the maximum level of 5, when there are winds of at least 157mph (252kph). 
 
The storm surge, which has likely peaked, was as high as 12ft (3.6m) above ground level in some areas, and 'life-threatening' flooding was predicted. 
 
Ian was expected to dump 12-18in (30-45cm) of rain across a broad area including Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville in the state's northeast co er. 
 
The town of Fort Myers Beach was almost submerged by floodwaters, and some homes could be seen floating downstream, along with cars. 
 
US President Joe Biden said Ian is incredibly dangerous, and he urged residents to obey all wa ings related to the storm. 
 
Cayo Costa is about 90 miles (145km) south of Tampa and just west of Fort Myers. 
 
The landfall zone has miles of sandy beaches, scores of resort hotels and numerous mobile home parks. Even as Ian lashed the coast in the final hours before it swept ashore, authorities put residents on notice that it was too late for anyone who had yet to evacuate to safely do so. 
 
The storm has now been downgraded to a category 3 hurricane, but residents in central Florida could still experience severe winds. 
 
Over a million impacted by power cuts Around 1.8 million homes and businesses were without electricity. 
 
Meanwhile, 20 people were feared missing off the Florida coast after a Cuban migrant boat sank due to the hurricane. 
 
Four migrants swam to shore in the Florida Keys, and three others were rescued.
Source: Sky News
 

(colombotimes.lk)