Photo by Ash Dudney
A downed tree near Cypress Point Park in Tampa, Florida on Sept. 22, 2022.
Hurricane Ian has spent the day battering Florida—especially in Fort Myers and Port Charlotte—with catastrophic storm surge, winds and flooding.
While the Bay area has been spared from a direct hit, local officials have reminded the community that it is not out of the woods yet
The National Hurricane Center’s 5 p.m. report
has the storm moving north-northeast at nearly 8 mph, with maximum sustained winds near 140 mph. Gusts of 64 mph have been recorded in Tampa, along with heavy rain across the area.
As of 5 p.m., hurricane and storm surge warnings are still in effect for Tampa Bay. An overnight hightide happens at 4:30 a.m., which could bring surge into the community.
The strongest winds are expected in surrounding counties including Sarasota, Manatee, DeSoto, Hardee and Polk, according to WFTS meteorologist Denis Phillips
National Hurricane Center
While the Bay area has been spared from a direct hit by Hurricane Ian, local officials have reminded the community that it is not out of the woods yet.
More than 200,000 people are without power locally
, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
The storm, which made landfall in southwest Florida just shy of being a Category 5 and is expected to to weaken to a Category 1 by 2 a.m. The forecast track is expected to take the eye of the storm across central Florida overnight and into Thursday morning before it moves into the Atlantic on Thursday night.
The next update from the NHC is expected at 8 p.m., with a complete advisory due at 11 p.m.