The National Hurricane Center announced around 3pm ET Wednesday that Hurricane Ian made landfall along the southwestern coast of Florida near Cayo Costa around 3pm ET.
The hurricane slammed into the Florida coast as a high-end, Major Category 4 Hurricane packing maximum sustained winds of 150 mph.
Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified Wednesday morning as it moved closer to the southwest Florida coast.
As of 8am ET Wednesday, the National Hurricane Center indicates that Hurricane Ian is a high end Category 4 Hurricane, packing maximum sustained winds of 155 mph -- just 2 mph shy of Category 5 hurricane status.
According to the National Hurricane Center and the Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale, a Category 4 Hurricane is capable of the following:
Catastrophic damage will occur: Well-built framed homes can sustain severe damage with loss of most of the roof structure and/or some exterior walls. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.— https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/aboutsshws.php
After landfall this afternoon, Ian is forecast to move northeast over Central Florida, including Orlando.
Hurricane Ian is forecast to weaken to a tropical storm as it moves over the Atlantic Ocean waters, and then it will curve northwest, making landfall along the Georgia/South Carolina coastline.
However, Ian’s center of circulation is forecast to remain east of the Metro Atlanta area.
Gusty winds and heavy rain are expected for Metro Atlanta this weekend, however the storm’s greater impacts will remain in east/southeast Georgia as well as the Carolinas.
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