Hurricane Ian downgraded over Florida

Hurricane Ian weakened as it made its way through Florida. With wind speeds of up to 150 kilometers per hour, “Ian” now has the lowest strength of one in five, the US Hurricane Center (NHC) said late yesterday evening (local time). A category four hurricane “Ian” hit the west coast of Florida in the afternoon, bringing violent winds, rain and storm surges.

Despite the weakening, a strip of land more than a hundred kilometers wide was exposed to violent storms on its way. According to the experts, the storm was around 110 kilometers south of Orlando overnight.

Television pictures showed rain lashing the streets, only the roofs of cars sticking out of the floodwaters and debris flying through the air. “Ian” may make the list of the five deadliest hurricanes in Florida, said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

1.6 million households without electricity

Residents had previously been warned not to leave their homes this morning to assess the damage, for example. Even if the hurricane pulls away, there is still a risk of debris, broken power lines and the like. Evacuation instructions applied to around 2.5 million people in the region. However, some of them chose to remain in their homes.

Around 1.6 million households were without power, according to the Poweroutage website. The authorities expected serious damage to infrastructure and communication lines. The extent of the destruction should only become clearer with sunrise.

NHC Director Ken Graham said it would likely take 24 hours for the hurricane to sweep over Florida after it arrived on land. That means 24 hours of heavy rain. Deanne Criswell of the US Disaster Management Agency FEMA said the region expected to be affected by the storm had not experienced such a hurricane for around 100 years.

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