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Hurricane Ian power outages in Florida: 2.5 million without electricity & More News

 

Almost 2.5 million customers were without power in Florida as Hurricane Ian continued to batter the state overnight.

The big picture: Ian unleashed widespread life-threatening storm surge flooding after making landfall as a high-end Category 4 storm near Cayo Costa Wednesday afternoon. Officials in coastal communities were responding to multiple water rescues. In Port Charlotte, storm surge flooded a hospital emergency room, per AP.

A screenshot of a map of Hurricane Ian's forecast path and a Tampa Bay-area sheriff's warning about downed power lines.
A public notice from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office in Tampa. Photo: HCSO/Twitter
  • Power outages increased across the state throughout Wednesday. The vast majority of customers in many counties in southwestern Florida — including Lee, Charlotte and Sarasota — had no electricity, according to PowerOutage.us.

Meanwhile, boil water notices were issued in several counties — including Collier County, where the City of Naples was inundated with floodwaters.

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Zoom in: Naples’ Fire Rescue Department shared online video of their station flooded by about three feet of water.

  • The Collier County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post that officers were “getting a significant number of calls of people trapped by water in their homes” after Ian swept through.

Of note: Hurricane Ian weakened to a Category 1 storm overnight, but the National Hurricane Center said it’s still pummeling areas of the Florida Peninsula with powerful winds, storm surge and “life-threatening, catastrophic” flooding.

By the numbers: Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state’s southwest saw surges as high as 12 feet in some areas.

  • Ian caused over 6.18 feet of surge in Naples at 1pm Wednesday ET — a new record for the city, per a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration monitoring station.

What we’re watching: DeSantis said 30,000 lineworkers, including many from other states, were moving to help with power restoration efforts across Florida.

Flashback: The hurricane left all of Cuba without power late Tuesday after the storm swept through and severely flooded the island.

More from Axios:

Editor’s note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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