Hurricane Ian Nears Category 5 Strength in Push to Florida




  • In Business
  • 2022-09-28 11:32:19Z
  • By Bloomberg
 

(Bloomberg) -- Hurricane Ian rapidly gained strength -- with winds reaching 155 miles an hour -- as it barreled toward the coast of Florida, threatening to rip roofs off of homes, wreck agricultural crops and cripple infrastructure as one of the costliest storms to ever hit the US.

Most Read from Bloomberg

  • Germany Suspects Sabotage Hit Russia's Nord Stream Pipelines

  • Apple Ditches iPhone Production Increase After Demand Falters

  • Alzheimer's Progression Slowed by Drug in Major Trial

  • Putin's Mobilization Hits Russia's Economy in Its Weak Spots

  • US Housing Prices Fall for First Time Since 2012

Ian's winds are now just 2 mph away from reaching Category 5 strength, the most powerful rating for a storm on the Saffir-Simpson scale, according to the US National Hurricane Center. Only four Category 5 hurricanes have hit mainland US in records going back to 1851. The storm is on track to make landfall along the west coast of Florida later Wednesday. Yesterday, Tampa was facing a direct hit. Now forecasters expect it to come ashore near Fort Myers, a two-hour drive south.

"Catastrophic wind damage is likely where the core of Ian moves on shore," Eric Blake, a senior hurricane specialist, said in a statement. "Widespread, life-threatening, catastrophic flash, urban, and river flooding is expected across central Florida."

The storm is bearing down on Florida as climate change fuels extreme weather around the globe. The year has already brought deadly flooding in Kentucky, a European heat wave that killed more than 2,000 people in Portugal and Spain, and a major hurricane that left catastrophic damage from Puerto Rico to Atlantic Canada -- each disaster exacting its own human and financial toll. And a relentless drought continues to grip the Western US.

How Climate, 'Rapid Intensification' Revved Up Ian: QuickTake

Ian was forecast to inflict more than $45 billion in damage, which would rank it among the top 10 most expensive storms in US history. By late Tuesday, more than 2,000 flights to and from Florida were canceled, and more than 2 million people had been urged to evacuate.

Across the US, 3,465 flights have been canceled for Wednesday and Thursday, with most of those to or from Orlando, Tampa, and Miami, according to FlightAware, an airline tracking service.

Ian will rip right through Florida's citrus groves, potentially knocking ripe fruit off trees and ruining the crop, Maxar Technologies Inc. meteorologist Donald Keeney said. Ian's path will likely take it back into the Atlantic on the eastern side of Florida before it makes a second landfall as a much weaker storm on the coast of Georgia or South Carolina, which will damage cotton quality there.

Massive flooding will occur across Florida that could even surpass damages from wind and storm surge.

If Ian maintains its strength as it comes ashore, it will be the first Category 4 storm to hit the US since Hurricane Ida last year. Ida, however, hit a sparsely populated area of Louisiana, while Ian is taking aim at a denser part of the nation. Like Ida, Ian's true danger may lie in heavy rain, which may exceed two feet across Florida and the US Southeast.

Three of the four Category 5 storms that have hit the mainland US came ashore in Florida. Hurricane Michael was the last Category 5 storm to hit the mainland, striking the Florida Panhandle in 2018.

(Adds meteorologist comment and map)

Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek

  • Mental Health Crisis Leads Hospitals to Create a New Type of ER

  • As Home Prices Surge, Americans Are Moving to Cheaper Places

  • The Supreme Court Is About to Display Its Power Imbalance Again

  • Google's Low-Tech Plan to Solve the Opioid Crisis

  • TikTok Steers Its Charm Offensive Around Loudest Critics in DC

©2022 Bloomberg L.P.

COMMENTS

More Related News

Treasury Yields Trim Rise After Shock of Strong Jobs Report
Treasury Yields Trim Rise After Shock of Strong Jobs Report

(Bloomberg) -- Expectations for where the Federal Reserve will need to take its benchmark rate in 2023 rebounded and Treasury yields initially surged after...

Ukraine Latest: Kremlin Says War to Go On, Remains Open to Talks
Ukraine Latest: Kremlin Says War to Go On, Remains Open to Talks
  • World
  • 2022-12-02 12:27:56Z

(Bloomberg) -- Vladimir Putin's administration said he remains open to negotiations after President Joe Biden raised the prospect of talks if the Russian...

For Miami lawyer, imprisoned and disbarred decades ago, award caps life of redemption
For Miami lawyer, imprisoned and disbarred decades ago, award caps life of redemption
  • US
  • 2022-12-02 10:30:00Z

On a recent morning in Miami federal court, a man prepared to plead guilty to gun and drug charges. The proceedings were unremarkable, the type of hearing...

Brexit
Brexit 'Landing Zone' Possible in Next Few Weeks, Ireland Says
  • World
  • 2022-12-02 09:46:41Z

(Bloomberg) -- There's been a "significant" improvement in relations between the European Union and UK, and a landing zone in their Brexit negotiations is...

Citigroup Says Japan Stocks Poised to Fall After Recent Rally
Citigroup Says Japan Stocks Poised to Fall After Recent Rally

(Bloomberg) -- The rally in Japan's stocks is likely to give way by year-end, with a full-fledged economic rebound needed to sustain an uptrend in prices...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply

Comments

Top News: Business