Hurricane Ian’s extremely dangerous eyewall begins to move onshore just north of Ft. Myers Beach. The storm is moving north-northeast at 9 mph, and a reduction in speed is forecast today. Within the hour, catastrophic storm surges, winds, and flooding are arriving on Florida’s west coast.
Maximum sustained winds are at 155 mph, and the Category 4 storm brings hurricane-force winds extending outward more than 45 miles from the center. Tropical-force winds extend up to 175 miles.
State and local officials advise staying where you are, and shelter in place as the storm impacts the west coast of Florida.
5 Tips to Stay Safe During the Impact of Hurricane Ian
- Stay Inside & Away From Windows
Stay inside and away from any windows or doors. Shelter in an interior room, such as a closet or bathroom, on the first floor of your home. If the storm seems to have passed, it is important to stay inside and wait because the calm may be the eye of the storm, and more heavy wind and rain may be on the way.
2. Tune into Local and State Alerts
If you lose power, a battery-powered, portable radio can ensure you stay up-to-date with advisories and alerts, including the storm path and when the hurricane has safely passed.
3. Be Ready to Turn Off Main Energy Sources
If your power goes out, it’s important to turn off the main power source to your home. When power comes back on, it could send unnecessary electricity to your appliances, air conditioning, or anything else with a power source and damage them beyond repair.
4. Use Hurricane Equipment Carefully
Only use a generator after the storm has completely passed. Follow instructions and never use a generator indoors. Set it up away from doors and windows - generators release toxic carbon monoxide fumes that can become fatal if they get inside your home. Keep a carbon monoxide detector inside to monitor the air while using a generator.
5. Beware of Water Coming into Your Home
If water comes into your home from the outside, turn off your main power source immediately. Water can surge the power and cause an electrical fire. After turning off the main power source, use sandbags, towels, or other items to help prevent the water from continuing to enter your home.
For help after the storm, print or save these important phone numbers and websites in the Lee County area. For other areas of the state, visit Florida’s Division of Emergency Management for important information.
As Ian moves onshore, the forecast track predicts a move over central Florida tonight and early Thursday morning, where it is expected to emerge over the Atlantic late on Thursday. A northward turn on Friday will bring tropical storm-force winds and rain to northeast Florida.