Live Updates: Hurricane Ian to Make Landfall in Florida

This Satellite image provided by NASA on Sept. 26, 2022, shows Hurricane Ian pictured from

After a hurricane-free August, Florida is bracing for fierce storms and flooding as Hurricane Ian reaches landfall on the state’s southwest coast. Follow Breitbart News for live updates on this breaking story. All times eastern.


9:09 AM — Florida residents have reported over 2 million power outages — 2,021,206 — per the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s latest update.

9:05 AM — Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno — Lee County is where the then-hurricane made landfall — told ABC’s Good Morning America that the “fatalities are in the hundreds.”

9:01 AM –Ian has weakened to a Tropical Storm.

11:15 PM — The NHC’s 11 p.m. update has Hurricane Ian weakening with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph. It continues to warn of “widespread, life-threatening catastrophic flooding, with major to record river flooding” in central Florida along with “considerable flooding in northern Florida, southeastern Georgia and eastern South Carolina” in the coming days.

11:01 PM — Over 1.8 million Florida residents have lost power, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s latest update.

10:16 PM — The latest models seem to be reaching a consensus, showing Ian exiting into the Atlantic in northeast Florida only to re-enter U.S. mainland somewhere along the Georgia-South Carolina border.

10:12 PM — Northeast Florida is forecast to see up to 18 inches of rain as Ian ventures through the state. Meanwhile, the hurricane continues to batter the state’s west coast.

9:20 PM — The St. Johns River is slated for “major” flooding Friday as the storm moves across the state.

8:38 PM — Satellite imagery shows the massive size of the storm, which still remained a major hurricane — a Category 3 — as of 8 p.m Eastern.

8:30 PM — DeSantis thanked 26 states for sending assistance to Florida.

8:16 PM — The Florida Division of Emergency Management said it received reports of 1,425,517 power outages across the state, as of 6 p.m. Eastern.

7:55 PM — The latest NHC advisory on Ian shows the storm battering the northeast portion of the state Thursday, hugging the coast for a reentry near the Georgia-South Carolina border.

7:31 PM — Another video shows what it looked liked as the eye of the storm moved over Punta Gorda.

7:26 PM — DeSantis campaign spokeswoman Christina Pushaw noted that those areas do not have power or service “for the most part,” which could explain why the president was unable to reach them.

7:07 PM — The White House says President Biden was unable to reach the mayors of Cape Coral and Sarasota and the chair of Charlotte County. According to the White House, Biden reached out to “let them know their communities have the full force of the Federal government as Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Florida.” This comes on the heels of Biden deeming getting vaccinated a “vital part” of hurricane prep.

6:34 PM — NHC is warning of “life-threatening storm surge” on the coasts of northeast Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina over the next two days.

6:06 PM — Another video shows what appear to be a dog rescued in a very flooded Naples, Florida.

5:54 PM — While much focus has remained on southwest Florida, DeSantis emphasized that Northeast Florida needs to prepare for impacts of Hurricane Ian as well.

“Be prepared for some impacts,” he said, as officials are anticipating “some major, major flooding events in Northeast Florida.” Evacuations have been issued for areas in Clay County, as well as other northeast areas. 

“Flagler County has issued mandatory evacuations of its barrier islands, low lying areas, and mobile homes,” he said. “Nassau has issued evacuation orders for low lying areas. St Johns County is evacuating coastal low lying areas, including the city of St. Augustine as well as the city of St. Augustine Beach. Putnam County has recommended evacuation for low lying areas and areas that have a history of flooding, and Sumter County is advising evacuations of mobile homes.”

DeSantis reemphasized that these areas are “hundreds and hundreds of miles away from the initial impact in southwest Florida.”

5:47 PM — The state now has 1.1 million reported power outages, per the governor, and he only expects the number to grow. 

5:45 PM — The governor said they are getting reports of structural damage in Lee and Charlotte counties, but storm surge has been the main issue. It has hit in 12 feet in some areas, they believe. 

5:43 PM — DeSantis is delivering a 5:30 p.m. update.

5:38 PM — Republican Florida Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, as well other Florida lawmakers, sent a letter to President Biden on Wednesday in support of Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) request for a Major Disaster Declaration. 

It reads in part:

This historic hurricane will continue to impact the state for some time, and the full extent of damage will not be known for days. However, approving this declaration request will allow Floridians to be better prepared for the recovery phase. As such, we urge you to approve the State of Florida’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration, which will provide the assistance necessary for our constituents to recover and rebuild. 

5:31 PM — “Sharknado” is now trending on Twitter following viral video showing a shark in the streets of Fort Myers due to the storm surge.

5:21 PM — Recent tracks indicate a very strong likelihood of the storm briefly entering Atlantic waters, only to head back into the states, making another landfall in Georgia or South Carolina late Friday amid Florida’s recovery from the storm.

5:14 PM — The NHC’s 5 p.m. update has Hurricane Ian weakening slightly, with maximum sustained winds of 145 mph. Additionally, tornado watches are underway in East Central Florida until 1 a.m. Eastern.

5:02 PM — A Naples Fire Rescue station has been battered by storm surge. Video shows first responders trekking through water, hip deep.

4:53 PM — The storm made mainland Florida landfall south of Punta Gorda, per the NHC. Maximum sustained winds are 145 mph.

4:45 PM — Sharknado? Another video is circulating across social media showing the devastating effects of storm surge in Fort Myers. The video appears to show a shark in the streets.

4:33 PM — Video shows a tree branch hitting Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore, who is in Punta Gorda, Florida. The Punta Gorda airport recently reported a wind gust of 124 mph.

4:30 PM — Dozens of Winn-Dixie stores, a popular grocery store chain, are closing across several Florida counties due to the storm. 

“To ensure the safety of our associates and customers, we are beginning to close stores as Hurricane Ian approaches and as communities throughout our footprint receive evacuation orders,” the grocer said in a statement. 

4:17 PM — There are now at least 756,450 power outages across the state, according to an update from the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

4:12 PM — The NHC’s 4 p.m. update still describes Hurricane Ian as a “dangerous Category 4 hurricane” as it moves more inland. The Punta Gorda airport reported a wind gust of 124 mph.

4:03 PM — Tens of thousands of linemen are ready to restore power.

3:37 PM — Power outages are piling up in the state, with over 700,000 now without power, according to current estimates. Florida Power & Light (FPL) is reporting 162,970 customers without power in Lee County, where the storm recently made landfall. For greater perspective, the total number of FPL customers in the entire county is 288,630, meaning over 56 percent of customers have lost their power in that county alone. 

3:29 PM — A video circulating on social media shows homes appearing to come off their foundations in Fort Myers Beach, FL.

3:18 PM — Hurricane Ian has officially made landfall near Cayo Costa, Florida. It remains a Category 4 hurricane. NHC describes the storm as “extremely dangerous.”

3:01 PM —  CNN’s Bill Weir, live from Punta Gorda, Florida, opted to use his Hurricane Ian coverage to highlight “climate change” — a favorite narrative of the far-left. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) made a similar implication Tuesday after suggesting that Democrat policies could help prevent hurricanes, earning mockery across social media.

2:55 PM — The waters are continuing to drain out of Tampa Bay due to the massive Category 4 storm. This phenomenon is expected to continue for the remainder of the day.

2:52 PM — Satellite imagery shows the vast size of the storm as it overtakes the Sunshine State.

2:34 PM — Florida now has 42,000 linemen, 7,000 National Guardsmen, and 179 aircraft ready to respond as Ian makes landfall, per the governor. 

2:32 PM — According to the NHC’s 2 p.m. update, Hurricane Ian is not yet weakening, maintaining maximum sustained winds near 155 as it rides the west coast of Florida. A hurricane warning is now in effect for a portion of the peninsula’s east coast. 

2:25 PM — More incoming video of the eye wall of Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers:

2:12 PM — A hurricane hunter aboard Kermit (#NOAA42) posted a video to Twitter, giving a glimpse of what he described as the “roughest flight” of his career.

“I have flown storms for the last six years. This flight to Hurricane #Ian on Kermit (#NOAA42) was the worst I’ve ever been on. I’ve never seen so much lightning in an eye,” he wrote, explaining that the shot was taken at night.

“You can see the curvature. Understand this is at NIGHT. The light is from LIGHTNING,” he added. Credit to Nick Underwood/NOAA.

2:06 PM — Mike Bettes, meteorologist for The Weather Channel, posted a “rare” view of the storm surge on Estero Blvd in Fort Myers Beach, FL. According to Bettes, the camera is six feet off the ground. 

2:04 PM — Mike’s Weather Page, a trusted source for over one million followers across social media and countless Floridians, is storm chasing live as Hurricane Ian makes landfall on the Sunshine State’s west coast.

1:58 PM — Storm chasers are reporting 120 mph winds in what is believed to be Boca Grande, Florida. Others are reporting sustained winds of 45 mph in Sarasota County. Bridges typically close down after winds reach sustained winds of 40 mph.

1:50 PM — Earth Networks Station at Naples Grande Beach Resort reported a wind gust of 112 mph as weather conditions continue to deteriorate in southwest Florida.

1:46 PM — Winds are picking up significantly in Fort Myers Beach.

1:37 PM — DeSantis said Hurricane Ian will likely go down as “one of the storms people remember,” thanking people for their prayers for the state.

1:33 PM — DeSantis added that they will be submitting a major disaster declaration for all 67 counties, requesting that the federal government “reimburse 100 percent of the upfront costs for the first 60 days to ensure that we can quickly recover and move forward into the response and recovery part” in the aftermath of the storm. 

1:30 PM — The governor highlighted the Florida National Guard’s “really impressive mobilization of over 5,000 folks as well as 2,000 additional guardsmen from other states” ready to respond. 

1:23 PM — Gov. DeSantis is providing a 1 p.m. update on Hurricane Ian, which is making landfall in southwest Florida. Maximum sustained winds are still 155 mph, just short of a Category 5 storm.

1:14 PM — Gov. DeSantis has continued to combat attempts to politicize the storm, dismissing an inquiry from a reporter Tuesday and correcting the record following claims that the state has lacked in its response to the storm.

“Whoa whoa whoa whoa. Give me a break. That is nonsense. Stop politicizing. Okay? Stop it,” DeSantis said, adding, “I don’t think we’ve ever —  certainly since I’ve been governor — declared a state emergency this early. We made sure that we were very inclusive with it.”

1:02 PM — Videos taken from Bayshore Blvd in Tampa, Florida, show the bay being “sucked out” as a result of the storm earlier this morning.

12:41 PM –– There is currently an “enhanced risk” for tornadoes for the east coast of Florida, primarily spanning from Daytona to West Palm Beach — the latter of which is minutes away from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home.

12:28 PM — The storm’s eye wall is moving onshore at Sanibel & Captiva Islands, per the NHC.

12:11 PM — Hurricane Ian’s potential for broad impacts — beyond the west coast of Florida — seems to be the emerging theme on Wednesday. Gov. DeSantis has repeatedly emphasized that the storm’s impacts will be broad due to the massive size of the storm and recent tracks showing it moving diagonally across the state, up to the northeast coast.

“Just understand the impacts are gonna be far, far broader than just where the eye of the storm happens to make landfall,” he cautioned on Tuesday.

Florida’s northeastern counties, such as St. Johns, have evacuations in place for certain zones, including the entire City of historic St. Augustine. Schools have also been canceled for the remainder of the week. 

12:01 PM — Various Twitter users are posting videos as the storm’s eye approaches the Sunshine State.

11:52 AM — The bulk of Florida’s west coast is facing significant storm surge — up to 18 feet in Bonita Beach. The east coast of the state is also facing these risks, as the St. Johns River could see storm surge 3-5 feet, as could the coast line.

11:46 AM — West Central Florida could be facing 24 inches of rain, according to NWS Tampa Bay.

11:41 AM — Gov. DeSantis put some further perspective on the massive storm, warning that it is “strong as a large tornado” and to expect “strong winds, heavy rains and flooding.”

11:31 AM — The NHC is also warning of hurricane-force winds extending “well inland along the core” of the storm, along with “widespread, life-threatening catastrophic flooding” in portions of central Florida. There will also be “considerable flooding in southern Florida, northern Florida, southeastern Georgia, and coastal South Carolina.”

11:22 AM — Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) Rapid Response Director Christina Pushaw is addressing members of the establishment media who are salivating over the prospect of the storm serving as a “test” to the governor.

11:12 AM — The National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) 11 a.m. advisory has Hurricane Ian maintaining its status as a strong Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. It warns of “catastrophic storm surge inundation of 12 to 18 feet above ground level along with destructive waves” along the southwest Florida coastline “from Englewood to Bonita Beach, including Charlotte Harbor.”

11:06 AM — Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) held a brief press conference with linemen ahead of the storm’s landfall, who assured they are executing their plans as the storm approaches. The governor stated during his 7:30 a.m. press conference that the state has over 30,000 linemen ready to respond to the storm:

10:47 AM — Hurricane Ian has reached wind speeds just 2 mph shy of Category 5, per the Associated Press:

Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified off Florida’s southwest coast Wednesday morning, gaining top winds of 155 mph (250 kph), just shy of the most dangerous Category 5 status. Damaging winds and rain lashed the state’s heavily populated Gulf Coast, with the Naples to Sarasota region at “highest risk” of a devastating storm surge.

U.S. Air Force hurricane hunters confirmed Ian gained strength over warm Gulf of Mexico water after battering Cuba, bringing down the country’s electricity grid and leaving the entire island without power. Ian was centered about 65 miles (105 kilometers) west-southwest of Naples at 7 a.m., swirling toward the coast at 10 mph (17 kph).

“This is going to be a nasty nasty day, two days,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said early Wednesday. “This is going to be a rough stretch.”


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