State Watch

Millions without power, people trapped as weakened Ian crosses Florida

Millions of people in Florida have lost power and some are trapped in flooded buildings due to now-Tropical Storm Ian, which hit the state on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane and is making its way north to Georgia and South Carolina.

The massive storm has knocked out power for 2.5 million Floridians as of Thursday morning while others remain stuck in flooded homes.

Police in Fort Myers are being dispatched to conduct hazard assessments in Ian’s wake after receiving calls from people stranded by flooding, historically the most likely cause of deaths from a hurricane.

Ian’s tropical-storm force winds began surging northeast on Thursday morning and are predicted to spread northward on the east coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“There is a danger of life-threatening storm surge today through Friday along the coasts of northeast Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina,” the center wrote in an update early Thursday morning.

Flooding that could reach record levels continues to threaten Florida the storm moves across the center of the state.

However, coastal water levels are subsiding on Florida’s west coast.

No deaths from Ian have been reported in Florida, though two people were killed in Cuba.

The storm also capsized a boat of 23 Cuban migrants south of the Florida Keys. The U.S. Coast Guard initiated a search and rescue mission in response to the sinking of the boat. Officials say they have found three survivors as they continue their search.

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