Almost 2.5 million without power in Florida from Hurricane Ian

Almost 2.5 million without power in Florida from Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian makes landfall as Category 4 storm


Hurricane Ian makes landfall as Category 4 storm

04: 04

Hurricane Ian was so powerful that its winds were just a few miles per hour shy of making it a Category 5 storm as it made landfall in Florida on Wednesday. It didn’t take long before it unleashed its fury on Florida’s power grids.

Ian’s eye began moving onshore at Sanibel and Captiva islands by midday on Wednesday. Before 2: 30 p.m. ET, more than 660,000 customers had their power knocked out, according to tracking on poweroutage.us. Two hours later, the number of outages had surpassed 1,000,000 After sundown, the number surged once again – bringing the total of those without power as of 10 p.m. to more than 2 million people. At 4 a.m., there were nearly 2.5 million homes and businesses without power.

Southwest Florida was bearing the brunt of the impact. Nearly all customers in several counties, including DeSoto and Charlotte, were without power on Thursday morning. According to poweroutage.us, at least half of customers in several neighboring areas, including Manatee and Sarasota as well as Collier, Highlands, and Glades were without power.

Reports of outages continued to extend north along the Gulf Coast, with major disruptions going as far north as Citrus County. The panhandle was seeing smaller disruptions.

Areas along Florida’s eastern coast were also seeing outages. Although Miami-Dade was hard hit by power outages, there were steady restorations throughout the day. Outages were also seen more inland, and were detected in every county along the state’s eastern coast.

Florida officials have been warning for days of the potential power issues. Ian has been relentless on its track, knocking out power to all of Cuba when it raked the island on Tuesday, although power in some areas has been restored.

The National Weather Service warned prior to landfall that Hurricane Ian would cause “catastrophic” wind damage in Florida’s southwest. The service’s director, Ken Graham, said during a press briefing on Wednesday that the storm would take 24 hours to complete its journey across the state after the eye made landfall.

“This is going to be a storm that we talk about for many years to come,” he said.

Florida Power & Light, the main provider to the homes and businesses reporting outages, tweeted on Wednesday that the company was expecting “widespread, extend” outages. More than 1 million of the more than 5.7 million customers tracked through PowerOutage.us had lost power.

We urge you to not let your guard down, regardless of where you live. We expect widespread, extended outages due to Hurricane Ian in a large portion of our service area. Be prepared and be safe. pic.twitter.com/rpDP4CdhmA

— Florida Power & Light (@insideFPL) September 28, 2022

Kevin Guthrie, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said Wednesday that there were more than 30,000 linemen “staged and ready” to help restore power when it is safe to do so. Gov Ron DeSantis said later in the day that number had increased to 42,000.

Li Cohen


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Li Cohen is a social media producer and trending reporter for CBS News, focusing on social justice issues.

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