While South Florida was fortunate to experience little impact of Hurricane Ian on Wednesday, the monster storm made landfall at 3:05 p.m with 150 mph winds. The Category 4 hurricane eyewall landed near Cayo Costa, an eight-mile-long barrier island six miles north of the better known Captiva Island near Fort Myers.
By 5 p.m., officials said at least one million Florida homes and businesses were without power and climbing. Police have been pulled off the streets in some cities because of the danger, and warnings continue for life-threatening storm surge.
The eye of Hurricane Ian is about 35 miles wide with NOAA reporting the storm had maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. Winds extend 40 miles from the center as the hurricane moved ashore just short of a Category 5 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said the storm will make history as one of the worst to hit the state.
"This is a really, really significant storm. It will be one of the storms people always remember when they think about southwest Florida. It will probably be the big one they remember," DeSantis said.
Fifteen hospitals evacuated about 350 patients, and another 150 medical facilities were evacuated, including nursing homes.
DeSantis said 91 assisted living facilities evacuated 3,012 residents and 40 nursing homes relocated 3,508 residents ahead of the storm.
If people want to donate to cleanup efforts they can go to the Florida Disaster Fund: www.FloridaDisaster.org.
And those who want to volunteer to help with storm cleanup should sign up at www.volunteerFlorida.org.
The NHC is still forecasting catastrophic storm surge of 12 to 18 feet along with destructive waves expected from Englewood to Bonita Beach, including Charlotte Harbor. However, the storm surge for Tampa Bay is expected to be significantly less than originally forecast.
Ian is expected to eventually cut across Central Florida to the east coast.