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PHOTOS: Widespread destruction after Hurricane Ian batters Florida

Thursday, September 29th 2022, 1:42 pm - The high-end hurricane pushed a tremendous storm surge and destructive winds into Florida on Wednesday, and the storm is far from over.

Hurricane Ian struck Florida on Wednesday afternoon as one of the most powerful storms ever recorded at landfall in the United States.

The storm roared ashore near Punta Gorda, Fla., at 3:05 p.m. EDT on Wednesday as a high-end Category 4 behemoth. The storm hit land with maximum sustained winds of 240 km/h, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Hurricane Ian Landfall Information


GET THE LATEST: Hurricane Ian climbs U.S. coast as tropical storm


Forecasts of widespread wind damage and a destructive storm surge came to fruition through the day on Wednesday as residents and reporters alike chronicled the major hurricane’s "catastrophic" impacts on the region.

Ian, now a tropical storm, will continue pushing across the Florida Peninsula through Thursday night, bringing hurricane conditions as far inland as the Orlando metro area.

There are currently well over 2,000,000 customers still in the dark as of Thursday afternoon, according to data collected by PowerOutage.us.

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The hurricane pushed a destructive storm surge into coastal communities near the point of landfall. Multiple reports from Fort Myers indicated a storm surge greater than 1.8 metres (6 feet) above ground level. The NHC warned that a storm surge as deep as 5.4 metres (18 feet) above ground level was possible in the hardest-hit areas.

After Thursday, when Florida will see the rain end, Ian will continue to trek into warmer waters, which could restore its hurricane status before it lands in South Carolina Friday. Wind gusts of near 90 km/h could be felt Friday morning in the Charleston, S.C., area before Ian makes landfall again. The state can also expect to see storm surge and heavy rain, but not as severe as what Florida experienced.

Folks across southwestern Florida documented the destruction playing out across the area, posting harrowing images and videos of the winds and flooding as Ian made landfall.

Check out some of the photos and videos from Hurricane Ian’s landfall below.

WATCH: StormHunter experiences the winds of Hurricane Ian

Thumbnail courtesy of Quwan Brown/Twitter, taken in Orlando, Fla.

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