The Point, Sept. 29, 2022: Hurricane Ian devastates Southwest Florida as one of the most powerful storms to hit the state
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Where Ian made landfall
• WGCU-Fort Myers: Grim news as Lee County officials provide update on Hurricane Ian. "The impacts of Hurricane Ian undoubtedly caused extensive infrastructure damage, likely deaths, sparked some looting, and resulted in the activation of a county-wide curfew as of 6 p.m."
• Associated Press: People trapped, hospital damaged after Ian swamps SW Florida. "One of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the United States barreled across the Florida peninsula overnight Wednesday, threatening catastrophic flooding inland, the National Hurricane Center warned."
• WGCU-Fort Myers: Former FEMA Director says Hurricane Ian is probably the worst storm SWFL has ever experienced. "As administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) from 2009 through 2017 — and former director of the Florida Emergency Management Division prior to that — Craig Fugate has seen more than his share of severe hurricanes."
• WGCU-Fort Myers: Hurricane Ian's rains cause widespread flooding; Naples Fire Rescue station inundated. "A Facebook live video from the Naples Fire Rescue Department showed the agency's Station One on 8th Avenue South flooded by Hurricane Ian, with fire engines, rescue units and even firefighters and EMTs hip deep or more in water. The live video, shot around 3 p.m. Wednesday, showed members of the department removing equipment from fire engines that had water halfway up the sides of the emergency vehicles."
• Fort Myers News-Press: Hurricane Ian leaves trail of misery with its long, slow trip through Southwest Florida. "Hurricane Ian took a permanent place in Southwest Florida history Wednesday, with an agonizingly slow sweep through the region, leaving devastated families, ruined homes and uncertain futures."
• NPR News: What it was like sheltering 50 miles from where the eye of Hurricane Ian hit. "NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Chelsea Rivera, who is sheltering with her parents in Sarasota, Fla., which is about 50 miles north of where the center of Hurricane Ian hit."
• Miami Herald: Cat. 5 storms making landfall in U.S. are rare. But three out of the four smashed Florida. "Since meteorologists began tracking hurricanes by sustained wind-speed in the 1970s, using the Saffir-Simson Wind scale, there have been only four Category 5 hurricanes that have made landfall in the United States, with three of the four hitting Florida: the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane in the Florida Keys; Hurricane Andrew, which slammed into southern Miami-Dade County on Aug. 24, 1992; and Hurricane Michael, which pummeled the Panhandle on Oct. 10, 2018."
• FLKeysNews: ‘Came through the floor.’ Seawater from Hurricane Ian pours into historic Key West area. "Duval Street, the world famous Gulf-to-Atlantic stretch of bars, cafes and boutiques, was littered with tree branches and downed signs. But other parts of Key West were punched by storm surge and wind damage. Particularly hard hit: low-income residents of the Robert Gabriel and Fort Village subdivisions near Southernmost Beach."
• NPR News: Hurricane Ian sucked water away from Florida's coast as it moved north. "Hurricane Ian delivered an eerie omen to coastal Florida residents Wednesday morning, as the powerful storm's winds pulled massive amounts of water away from beaches and shorelines, exposing the seabed that's normally covered by feet of ocean water."
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Ian's path through Florida
• WUFT News: Live updates: Hurricane Ian downgraded to Category 1 as it pushes toward north central Florida. Use this page to get caught up on local and statewide updates from throughout Wednesday and into this morning, including airport closures, potential flood zones along the St. Johns River and shelters in Alachua County.
• WUFT News: Gov. Ron DeSantis details the state’s emergency response plan to power outages and rescues. "At a 5:40 p.m. press conference, DeSantis said there were 1.1 million power outages across the state of Florida, but that number has since increased to 1.7 million outages, according to PowerOutage.us. About 42,000 linemen from across the state are ready to help restore power once the storm has passed."
• News Service of Florida: Property insurers temporarily blocked from dropping policies. "An emergency order will temporarily prevent property insurers from dropping customers in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. It will also temporarily shield homeowners from losing policies if their properties are damaged in the hurricane."
• Florida Politics: Gov. DeSantis acknowledges flood claim concern as Ian cuts path across Florida. "Some Florida residents in Hurricane Ian’s path could face a total loss of their home without insurance coverage to replace it if they don’t have flood insurance. It’s too early to say how many, Gov. Ron DeSantis said, but he admitted it could be an issue after the storm clears."
• WUFT News: Preparing livestock amid Hurricane Ian. "Livestock owners preparing for Hurricane Ian have three major concerns: identification, sheltering and power. Identifying livestock is a crucial process in preparing for major storms."
• New York Times ($): Flying into the eye of Ian: An experienced hurricane hunter takes a wild ride. "Nick Underwood has flown into the eye of a hurricane 76 times over the past six years as an aerospace engineer for the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration. His roughest flight so far? Early Wednesday, to the heart of Hurricane Ian."
• News4Jax: Clay residents get ready, officials say area could see flooding countywide as Hurricane Ian approaches. "The County Emergency Operations Center was heavily staffed Wednesday as officials monitored the storm. One thing they’re warning for residents is the ground in Clay County is already heavily saturated and flooding may come quickly."
• WFLA-Tampa: Can birds tell when a hurricane is coming? "Humans have long depended on forecast models and trackers to tell them when the storm will arrive, but how, exactly do birds predict the weather? According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division, some birds appear to possess a warning system that will tell them when a storm is approaching."
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Ethan Magoc curated today's edition of The Point.