Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Hurricane Ian, which has tied the record for the strongest hurricane to make landfall on the west coast of the Florida peninsula. The storm made landfall on Wednesday near Cayo Costa with winds speeds of up to 155 miles per hour.
Even after Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday, it was still dumping heavy rainfall across Florida. The threat of catastrophic flooding and dangerous storm surges will continue as Ian moves across the state and north toward South Carolina and Georgia.
More than 2.6 million people are without power today. Rescue efforts are underway in Fort Meyers, where the Florida National Guard is pulling people off roofs. Search and rescue teams are also active in many other areas along the western coast, including Tampa.
“Hurricane Ian grew substantially as it charged across the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico in late September 2022. After damaging parts of Cuba and leaving much of the country in the dark, forecasters expected more destruction as the storm reached Florida’s west coast on the afternoon of September 28,” says NASA.
“In Cuba, about 11 million people were left without power, according to news reports. Winds and floodwaters destroyed buildings, farms, and left many roads impassable. As the storm approached Florida, the U.S. hurricane center warned of potentially catastrophic storm surges and wind damage along the southwest coastline and life-threatening flooding across some central parts of the state.”
Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory