Hurricane Ian charged ashore Wednesday, downing trees and power lines and causing flooding in multiple Florida communities.
A 5 p.m. ET advisory from the National Hurricane Center said the storm hit Florida with “catastrophic storm surge, winds, and flooding.”
The bulletin noted that a storm surge watch and a tropical storm warning were in effect for North and South Carolina, respectively. Virginia declared a state of emergency, according to CNN.
NBC News reported that winds were estimated at 150 mph as the Category 4 storm made landfall.
A pair of videos posted to Twitter demonstrated the impact on Fort Myers Beach in just one hour.
— Andrea Henderson (@AndreaNBC4) September 28, 2022
Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson told CNN the hurricane was clobbering his community.
“I’ve been here since the mid-’70s. This is actually by far the worst storm I have ever seen,” he said.
Businesses have been flooded and windows have been blown out by the winds.
— Moshe Schwartz (@YWNReporter) September 28, 2022
Residents who did not flee are stranded, Anderson said.
“The streets are flooded and emergency services couldn’t get to them if they wanted to,” he said.
“I’m actually watching a guy out in the intersection right now, the water up past his knees and he’s out there taking pictures. Why people choose not to do the prudent things, who knows?”
More than 1.5 million customers were without power as of 7:30 p.m. ET, according to a power outage tracker.
Here is a time-lapse of the #StormSurge coming in on Sanibel Island, #Florida caught on a live traffic cam. This was only 30mins condensed down, it deteriorated quickly. 😬 #HurricaneIan #Hurricane #Ian pic.twitter.com/JKuNROvMm4
— BirdingPeepWx (@BirdingPeepWx) September 28, 2022
Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday evening that residents who did not evacuate and need help may need to wait until the worst of the storm passes.
“Local first responders will deploy as soon as it’s safe to do so,” DeSantis said, according to CNN.
“By and large, until the storm passes, they are not going to go into a situation for rescue and put their own folks at risk.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.