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Ian now a tropical storm that left catastrophic damage

Ian now a tropical storm that left catastrophic damage
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Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday morning after it left a trail of destruction in southwest Florida, trapping people in flooded homes, damaging the roof of a hospital intensive care unit and cutting power to 2 million people before aiming for the Atlantic coast.

One of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the United States swept across the Florida peninsula Wednesday night as a Category 4 storm, threatening catastrophic flooding inland, the National Hurricane Center warned.

The center’s Thursday advisory at 5 a.m. said Ian was expected to surface over Atlantic waters later on Thursday, with rains continuing in central and north Florida.

At the time of the last survey, Ian was approximately 40 miles southeast of Orlando, moving northeast at a speed of 8 miles per hour with maximum sustained winds of 65 miles per hour.

A turn to the north-northeast is expected later on Thursday, followed by a turn to the north and north-northwest with an increase in forward speed Friday and Friday night.

WATCH LIVE: The latest forecast for Tropical Storm Ian

On the forecast line, the center of Ian is expected to move away from the east coast of Florida later on Thursday and then approach the coast of South Carolina on Friday. The center will move further inland across the Carolinas Friday night and Saturday.

In Port Charlotte, on Florida’s Gulf Coast, the storm surge inundated a lower-level emergency room at a hospital, though strong winds blew off part of the roof of the intensive care unit, according to a doctor working there.

Water poured into the ICU, forcing staff to evacuate the hospital’s sickest patients – some of whom were on ventilators – to other floors, Dr. Birgit Bodine of HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital. Employees used towels and plastic buckets to try to clean up the sodden mess.

SOUTH FLORIDA

The main threat to our territory was the heavy rains and local flooding. Radar estimates that 8 to 10 inches of rain has fallen in parts of Miami-Dade and Broward counties since Monday, with the highest totals yet from North Miami to Hollywood, Davie, Sunrise and Coral Springs.

Tornadoes have been confirmed in Broward County and Delray Beach.

Broward officials said there were also reports of downed trees across the county, which crews are working to remove.

A handful of traffic lights were also damaged and are being worked on. Drivers should remember that intersections with flashing red lights or no lights should be treated as a four-way stop.

As of Thursday morning, 7,610 FPL customers in Miami-Dade County and 4,950 in Broward were without power.

Visit https://www.fplmaps.com/ for information on recent power outages.

TRANSIT INFO:

On Monday Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that Alligator Alley tolls have been suspended as the storm approaches. Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said all non-essential services in the county remain suspended Thursday.

However, Miami-Dade County will resume statewide transit services Thursday, including Metrobus, Metrorail, Metromover and Special Transportation Services (STS).

Waste collection for Broward County will resume Thursday.

Broward County Transit will operate on a normal schedule Thursday.

SCHOOL CLOSINGS:

Miami-Dade and Broward canceled classes for Wednesday and Thursday.

Schools in Monroe County will resume Thursday.

Florida Atlantic University will remain closed Thursday.

AIRPORTS:

Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport remain open, but are experiencing numerous cancellations and delays. Check with your airline for the latest updates.

Airports in the Florida Keys are closed until further notice.

EMERGENCY PROCEDURES:

On Sunday Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the deployment of the Florida National Guard.

President Joe Biden approved the state of emergency for Florida on Saturday to provide Federal Emergency Management Agency assistance to the state and the Miccosukee and Seminole tribes.

The Florida Disaster Fund has been activated to help Florida communities affected by Hurricane Ian.

To make a contribution, please visit www.FloridaDisasterFund.org or SMS DISASTER to 20222.

CLICK HERE to download Local 10’s Hurricane Survival Guide.

Visit Local10.com’s hurricane page for the latest updates on this storm. Sign up to receive daily morning briefings on the tropics Talking Tropics newsletter.





Copyright 2022 by WPLG Local10.com – All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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