Hurricane Ian hit the shores of Florida on Wednesday afternoon local time. At the time of landing, the phenomenon was classified as the fourth category on the five-point ascending Saffir-Simpson scale. As reported on TVN24 by the reporter Jan Pachlowski, residents of many cities still do not have access to electricity, and for some time telephones did not work.
Ian has weakened somewhat after hitting the land, and is now classified as a Category 1 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) reported Wednesday evening local time. The agency warns, however, that the danger has not passed – the phenomenon brings with it heavy rains, strong gusts of wind and gigantic waves that this part of the United States has not seen in years.
The city under the water
As the NHC points out, people in the southeastern United States can expect catastrophic floods and record river floods on Thursday and Friday. Warnings were issued not only in Florida, but also in Georgia and South Carolina.
The toughest conditions are in Lee County. Local police said Wednesday night, local time, that some buildings had been destroyed and that the floods had hijacked many cars. The city of Fort Myers Beach was nearly drowned by flood waters, and in Cape Coral, some residents were trapped in their own homes and vehicles.
At one point, nearly two million homes and businesses in 12 Florida counties were cut off from electricity, mostly in Lee County. As promised by operator Florida Power & Light Co., technicians are restoring network operation as soon as weather permits.
– We are dealing with a gigantic force hitting the shoreline with really, really strong gusts of wind. It will do a lot of damage, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Wednesday, asking US President Joe Biden to endorse a federal declaration providing a wide range of emergency aid to the state.
DeSantis added that so far there have been no reports of fatalities or injuries related to the storm. Some people still remained trapped in their own homes. US border authorities have confirmed that 20 Cuban citizens have gone missing after their boat sank off the coast of Florida as Ian neared the coast.
In a statement, the US president told Florida residents that the government was “ready to help in any way possible.”
In the dark and unable to communicate
As on TVN24, the correspondent Jan Pachlowski, currently staying in Florida near Miami, said the situation is really difficult in the place of the hurricane. The area where the reporter is staying is still cut off from electricity, and cell connectivity has only recently been restored.
– There was an obligatory evacuation order in my town – he said. – I did not wait, I secured the house as much as possible, and I tried to go to a theoretically safer place.
Pachlowski added that the element brought with it unprecedented rainfall. Palm trees bent under the influence of strong gusts of wind, and at some point the phones stopped working. Some places have been completely cut off from the rest of the state by gigantic floods, and many places remain inaccessible.
– Will take weeks to do [cały region – przyp. red.] will come back to normal – he pointed. – We are somehow afraid of what we will see in the morning, what it will look like, how far the element has gone into devastation.
Ian in Cuba
Before Hurricane Ian hit Florida, the element passed through western Cuba. On Tuesday, the element left the entire Caribbean island without electricity. At least two people were killed.
Further weakening of the hurricane is projected over the next 24 hours. Ian will cross the Florida Peninsula on Thursday afternoon, reaching the Atlantic.
Main photo source: Reuters