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Tipsheet

Shocking Videos of Catastrophic Damage Coming Out of FL As Hurricane Ian Makes Landfall

NOAA

Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida's west coast on Wednesday, making landfall just after 2:30 p.m in Captiva, Lee County, near Fort Myers as a monstrous Category 4 storm with winds measured at 155 mph, just 2 mph shy of Category 5-strength.

The winds — combined with deadly storm surge as high as 18 feet and historic rainfall predicted to total as much as 24 inches — are wreaking havoc on homes, cars, and critical infrastructure.

Before making landfall, the storm's eyewall whipped Florida's gulf coast as Ian churned northeast, with winds in excess of 70 mph and gusts over 80 mph reported by the National Hurricane Center's noon update.

Airports across Florida in Ian's path remained closed on Wednesday from Tampa to Daytona Beach and Orlando to Key West, while more than 650,000 residents are already without power as Ian continues moving inland. 

Hurricane Hunter flights measuring the intensity and movement of the storm in the hours before landfall saw pilots turn back before breaking through into the eye due to the severity of the turbulence, as Fox News' Madison Scarpino experienced first-hand. 

Meanwhile north of the eye, eerie videos of an empty Tampa Bay showed the strength of the Ian's winds that pushed the bay's water out into the Gulf of Mexico.

On Wednesday afternoon just before landfall, Governor Ron DeSantis issued an update on his state's whole-of-government preparation that included additional requests for FEMA assistance to aid in recovery after Hurricane Ian passes:

Ian is currently a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour, nearing a category 5. Because of the severity and devastation of this storm, Governor Ron DeSantis is requesting a Major Disaster declaration from President Biden for all 67 counties of the state. As part of this request, Governor DeSantis is also asking that President Biden approve a FEMA federal cost share of 60 percent for 45 days to support recovery efforts in the wake of Hurricane Ian. This FEMA funding would support debris removal and emergency protective measures (FEMA Categories A and B) to help counties that will be directly impacted by Hurricane Ian. The President has the authority to issue a waiver and increase the federal cost share for hurricane recovery. The approval of this funding has the potential to save Florida communities and the state hundreds of millions of dollars. 

This is a developing story and may be updated. 

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