Hurricane Ian wreaks havoc

In Florida, cars and homes submerged by intense flooding.

Catastrophic damage is expected in areas of Florida’s Gulf Coast as Hurricane Ida, with winds upwards of 150 m.p.h. struck the state, bringing intense flooding.

The Category 4 hurricane made landfall at Cayo Costa near Fort Myers shortly after 3 p.m. Wednesday. It’s already being described as one of the worst storms to ever hit the state. Video captured by newscasts and social media show submerged cars and submerged houses.

Some 2.5 million Floridians are without electricity.

Early Thursday morning, the storm was downgraded to a tropical storm as cuts across Central Florida, dropping torrential rain.

The National Hurricane Center continued to issue warnings. It said hurricane-force winds are expected across the South Carolina coast beginning early Friday. 

The NHC also said ongoing major-to-record river flooding will continue across portions of central Florida, with considerable flooding in northern Florida.

Prior to the landfall, the Southwest Florida region was rife with planning for evacuations, closings and last minute preparations. Home centers were at the center of the effort.