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Hurricane Ian pummels Florida

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3 min ago

Hurricane and tropical storm warnings discontinued for southern Florida

From CNN's Robert Shackelford and Mike Saenz

Hurricane and tropical storm warnings across southern Florida have been dropped as Hurricane Ian moves farther north, according to an update from the National Hurricane Center.

The storm remains at Category 1 with sustained winds of up to 75 mph.

”Further weakening is expected for the next day or so, but Ian could be near hurricane strength when it moves over the Florida East coast later today,” the National Hurricane Center said.

The center of the hurricane is about 55 miles south-southeast of Orlando and is moving toward the northeast at 9 mph, approaching northeastern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

6 min ago

More than 20 percent of customers are without power across Florida

From CNN's Amanda Musa

More than 2,300,000 customers across Florida did not have power as of early Thursday, according to That's about 21% of all tracked customers in the state.

Twelve counties are reporting that more than 50% of tracked customers are without power. The most impacted areas are those directly in Hurricane Ian's path in the southwest, central and northeast regions of the state.

The county with the most total outages is Lee County, which includes Fort Myers and Cape Coral, with 425,717 customers without power -- roughly 90 percent. Nearly all customers in DeSoto County are also without power.

31 min ago

Thousands of Florida prisoners evacuated or relocated due to storm, officials say

From CNN's Elizabeth Wolfe and Dave Alsup

Thousands of people incarcerated in Florida prison facilities have been relocated or evacuated because of Hurricane Ian's impact, according to state and local officials.

The Florida Department of Corrections said Wednesday that approximately 2,500 inmates were moved to facilities "better equipped to weather the impacts of the storm." Nearly two dozen facilities were evacuated, it said.

Other jurisdictions say they have restricted activity or rehoused internally due to Hurricane Ian.

The Federal Bureau of Prisons said Wednesday that "certain inmate movement has been suspended and accountability procedures are in place" as a temporary measure during the storm.

In hard-hit Lee County, which includes Fort Myers, people held in the main jail facility were moved to a higher floor "out of an abundance of caution," the sheriff's office said Wednesday.

54 min ago

States of emergency declared in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia

From CNN's Virginia Langmaid, Joe Sutton and Elizabeth Wolfe

Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia are all under states of emergency in anticipation of Hurricane Ian.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued a state of emergency on Tuesday and the other three states' governors released declarations on Wednesday. With the issuances, states can deploy emergency resources to prepare for potential severe weather in the coming days.

“Hurricane Ian is a large, powerful storm, and current predictions indicate that it may impact parts of Virginia later this week into early next week,” said Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin in his announcement. 
“We want to ensure that our communities have the resources needed to respond to and recover from any potential effects from the storm. 

In North Carolina and Georgia, the executive orders also prohibit price gouging.

"While we don't yet know exactly how this storm will impact our state, it's clear that this will be a significant rain event for much of North Carolina and now is the time for people to get prepared," North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster urged residents to "make plans for every contingency and be prepared.”

Track Hurricane Ian and see where the storm may be headed next here.

1 hr 8 min ago

Flooding has receded at Naples fire department where fire truck was partially submerged in water

From CNN's Amanda Musa

Waters have receded at a fire department in Naples, Florida, which was flooded with waist-deep water Wednesday due to Hurricane Ian, according to Tarin Bachle, Administrative Manager for the Naples Fire-Rescue Department.

“It wasn’t very long ago that this was four-and-a-half, five-and-a-half feet underwater,” Bachle said in a video posted Wednesday night.

Earlier Wednesday afternoon, the department posted a video of the station inundated with several feet of murky water. In the video, the water is above Bachle's waist and flowing into the cabin of a fire engine.

While the fire station no longer had standing water in the evening video update, flooding could still be seen in the neighboring street. Layers of sludge and debris can also be seen on the driveway.

“We still have some flooding … and the wind is still ripping. But as you can see, the water is receding,” Bachle said Wednesday night.
31 min ago

Here are the latest developments as Hurricane Ian pummels Florida

Hurricane Ian is making its way through Florida as a Category 1 storm after making landfall as a powerful Category 4 along the state’s southwestern coast Wednesday afternoon. The dangerously strong winds and torrential downpour have brought life-threatening storm surge and flooding to some areas. 

The hurricane has weakened since it hit the coast, but officials are still urging residents to take shelter and remain alert as the worst of the storm is yet to come for many in its path.  

After hitting the coast with 150 mph winds, Ian is now tied with Hurricane Charley in 2004 as the strongest storm to make landfall on the west coast of the Florida peninsula, according to CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller.

The storm could rank as one of the top five hurricanes to strike the peninsula, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday.  

Here's what you need to know:

  • Winds weakened to Category 1: By late Wednesday night, Hurricane Ian had slowed to a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm's center was about 70 miles south of Orlando, Florida, at around 11 p.m. “Widespread, life-threatening catastrophic flooding, with major to record river flooding, will continue across portions of central Florida tonight," the hurricane center noted.
  • Storm is shifting toward the Atlantic: Ian's center is expected to move over central Florida through Thursday morning and continue making its way north. By late Thursday, the National Hurricane Center forecasts the storm will emerge over the Atlantic and continue northward, impacting the northeastern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coasts.
  • Rescue efforts underway: The state is planning search and rescue efforts using air, ground and sea resources once it is safe to do so, Florida Department of Emergency Management director Kevin Guthrie said Wednesday. Some local emergency teams were unable to respond to calls for help because of dangerous storm conditions.
  • Many residents are without power: More than 2 million customers in Florida are in the dark Wednesday night, mostly in the state's southwest and central regions, according to outage tracker Some counties in the area are also under boil water advisories due to compromised water infrastructure.
  • Damage will be "life-changing," official says: Repairing damaged power infrastructure could take days or weeks, said Eric Silagy, President and CEO of Florida Power & Light. Silagy said the storm would be a "life-changing event," adding, "This is a very powerful, catastrophic storm that is going to do significant damage."
1 hr 37 min ago

Hurricane Ian weakens to a Category 1 storm

From CNN's Taylor Ward

Hurricane Ian has weakened to a Category 1 hurricane as it moves across central Florida, the National Hurricane Center said late Wednesday. The storm's sustained winds are down to 90 mph. 

Ian is now centered about 70 miles south of Orlando. East-central Florida, including Orlando, is also under a tornado watch through 1 a.m. ET Thursday.

Overnight, widespread tropical storm-force winds with gusts above hurricane force will continue to impact central Florida, the hurricane center said. 

“Hurricane conditions are expected along the east-central Florida coast overnight through early Thursday," the hurricane center said.

The storm will also bring a continued threat of heavy rain into Thursday.

“Widespread, life-threatening catastrophic flooding, with major to record river flooding, will continue across portions of central Florida tonight," the hurricane center said, also warning of "considerable flooding in northern Florida, southeastern Georgia and eastern South Carolina" through the end of the week.

1 hr 37 min ago

More than 2 million customers are without power across Florida

From CNN's Virginia Langmaid

More than 2 million energy customers were in the dark Wednesday night, according to the tracker

In the hardest-hit southwestern region, 10 counties reported that more than 50% of tracked customers were without power.

Eight more counties in southwest, central and northeast Florida reported more than 10,000 customers had no electricity.

1 hr 37 min ago

Jacksonville International Airport cancels all flights Thursday

From CNN's Dave Alsup

All flights through Jacksonville International Airport are canceled Thursday and the terminal is closed, the airport announced in a tweet.

JAX joins Orlando International Airport and Tampa International Airport in discontinuing flights due to Hurricane Ian.

The Tampa airport announced that no flights would depart from the airstrip Thursday and has not provided a reopening date. Orlando International said in a Wednesday update that its commercial operations are "expected to resume sometime Friday."