IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.
Last updated

Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Florida

The Category 4 storm hit the west coast of Florida on Wednesday, according to the National Hurricane Center, which has warned of "life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and flooding."
We apologize, this video has expired.

Coverage on this live blog has ended. Please click here for the latest updates.

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida on Wednesday afternoon as a powerful Category 4 storm.

Maximum sustained winds were around 150 mph as it hit the southwest coast at the island of Cayo Costa near Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

By Wednesday night, more than 2 million customers were without power in the state, and communities along Florida's west coast had issued mandatory curfews.

Later Wednesday, the storm gradually weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds around 90 mph, but heavy rain continued to pummel the state, and storm surge warnings remained in effect.

The National Hurricane Center has warned of "life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and flooding in the Florida Peninsula," with millions under evacuation orders.

Meanwhile, across Cuba, residents have been left without power after sweeping outages in Ian's wake.

Para información en español de Noticias Telemundo haga click aquí

64d ago / 6:25 AM UTC

Hurricane Ian winds drop further, flood risk remains

Hurricane Ian’s maximum sustained winds dropped to 75 mph by early Thursday, the day after it struck Florida as a powerful Category 4 storm.

But northeastern and central Florida were forecast to get 10 to 20 inches of rain, and up to 30 inches in some spots, the National Hurricane Center said. Florida’s eastern coast may also see a storm surge of 6 feet.

The storm, now a Category 1, was about 55 miles southwest of Cape Canaveral at 2 a.m., the hurricane center said in an advisory. It was moving northeast at 9 mph.

It did not appear that any deaths had been reported in the hurricane, but officials near where it struck earlier Wednesday said the damage was feared to be extensive and it was unknown how bad the situation was as high winds were continuing.

64d ago / 6:25 AM UTC

Man, 91-year-old mother ‘trapped’ on 22nd floor of Fort Myers, Florida, high-rise

65d ago / 4:54 AM UTC

Cape Coral hit by storm surge; residents trapped in homes and vehicles

65d ago / 4:34 AM UTC

Why ‘Category 4’ doesn’t begin to explain Hurricane Ian’s dangers

Hurricane Ian made landfall on Florida’s southwestern coast Wednesday as a strong Category 4 storm, making it one of only 15 Category 4 or 5 hurricanes on record to hit the state.

Its rating could understate how much destruction the storm brings.

Even as Ian gathered strength and neared Category 5 status, experts warned that solely paying attention to a hurricane’s category often masks just how destructive and life-threatening such storms can be — particularly as climate change makes hurricanes both rainier and more intense.

Read the full story here.

65d ago / 4:03 AM UTC

All flights out of Jacksonville airport canceled

The terminal at Jacksonville International Airport will be closed Thursday, and all flights in and out are canceled, the airport said.

The airport asked passengers to contact their airlines to rebook in an announcement on social media late Wednesday.

The airport had said Wednesday morning it would remain open as long as its airline partners and the Federal Aviation Administration deemed conditions safe to fly.

Jacksonville, on Florida's Atlantic coast, closed all three of its beaches Wednesday in preparation for Hurricane Ian's impacts.

The National Weather Service in Jacksonville has warned of extensive flash flooding, especially over northeast Florida, and it cautioned in an update Wednesday afternoon that the city could get 8 to 10 inches of rain.

65d ago / 3:38 AM UTC

Hurricane Ian weakens to a Category 1, but storm still battering Florida

Hurricane Ian’s maximum sustained winds dropped to 90 mph by late Wednesday, but the storm was still battering Florida with heavy rain and the risk of life-threatening storm surge, officials said.

The wind speeds made Ian a Category 1 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. It was a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds when it made landfall near Cayo Costa on Florida's western coast at 3 p.m.

Officials in Lee County say the damage there is extensive, but its full scope was not clearly known. Residents reported being trapped by high water.

Central and northeast Florida could get 20 inches of rain, the National Hurricane Center said in an 11 p.m. advisory. Its center was about 70 miles south of Orlando as it moved northeast at 8 mph.

Storm surge warnings covered most of the western coast, including Tampa Bay, and were also in place on the East Coast, from around Volusia County to parts of South Carolina.

Terry Mazany, of Fort Myers, described it as a “freight train” of wind. The building they are in is surrounded by 8 feet of water, he said on MSNBC.

65d ago / 3:08 AM UTC

65d ago / 2:39 AM UTC

Crew-5 mission to International Space Station is delayed, NASA says


NASA and SpaceX are delaying a launch to the International Space Station by at least 24 hours after Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida, officials said Wednesday.

The Crew-5 mission, originally scheduled to leave from Kennedy Space Center off Florida’s east coast on Monday, is set to take three astronauts and a cosmonaut to the station, NASA said. 

The flight will take off no sooner than 12 p.m. on Oct. 5, although it could be further delayed, the agency said.

The four members of the SpaceX Crew-5 mission pose for a portrait in their Crew Dragon flight suits at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. From left are Mission Specialist Anna Kikina from Roscosmos; Pilot Josh Cassada and Commander Nicole Aunapu Mann, both from NASA; and Mission Specialist Koichi Wakata from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).
The four members of the SpaceX Crew-5 mission pose for a portrait in their Crew Dragon flight suits at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif. From left are Mission Specialist Anna Kikina from Roscosmos; Pilot Josh Cassada and Commander Nicole Aunapu Mann, both from NASA; and Mission Specialist Koichi Wakata from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA). SpaceX
65d ago / 2:24 AM UTC

Hurricane Ian plunges more than 2 million customers into darkness

At least 2 million customers across more than 12 Florida counties are without power Wednesday night, according to, which tracks utility data across the country.

Roughly half of those without power are in the region serviced by Florida Power & Light Co., whose coverage area includes the hard-hit communities of Lee County.

A message posted on the utility's website said crews are working to restore power "in between weather bands as conditions allow."

Late Wednesday, the utility asked people to be prepared for widespread and extended outages as crews assess the damage.

"Hurricane Ian’s catastrophic winds will mean parts of our system will need to be rebuilt — not restored," Florida Power & Light Co. tweeted Wednesday night. "We are already at work restoring power where we can do so safely."

65d ago / 1:48 AM UTC

Storm chaser: ‘Damage is widespread’ from Hurricane Ian

65d ago / 1:28 AM UTC

Biden says he has given DeSantis 'everything' he's asked for in emergency response

President Joe Biden said Wednesday night that his administration has provided Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis with all of the resources he has asked for to respond to Hurricane Ian.

“We have been completely responsive to the governor of Florida, everything he’s needed and asked for,” Biden said in remarks at an event hosted by the Democratic Governors Association. “We’ve given the governor every single thing he’s asked for, in terms of emergency response.”

Biden added that he would be meeting with officials at the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Thursday and "do whatever the people of Florida need."

65d ago / 1:27 AM UTC

National Hurricane Center: Lingering flooding from Ian could make response in Florida difficult

Sept. 29, 202202:26
65d ago / 1:12 AM UTC

Reports of 'compromised' buildings, vehicles floating away in Lee County, sheriff says

There have been reports of vehicles floating to the ocean in Lee County, where Hurricane Ian struck Wednesday, the sheriff said.

Authorities don’t know exactly how bad the damage is in the county, which includes the city of Fort Myers, because winds have been too strong for response efforts, Sheriff Carmine Marceno said around 8 p.m.

“Reports of buildings compromised, we have reports of vehicles being, just floating out into the ocean,” he said. He said 911 callers have also reported damaged roofs that there was and one report of a building that collapsed.

Marceno said that hundreds of deputies were ready to respond as soon as weather conditions permit. "Obviously, there are a lot of challenges that we face. We don’t even know exactly what we face just yet," he said. "We know we’ve been hit very hard."

Ian made landfall in as a Category 4 hurricane near Cayo Costa in Lee County around 3 p.m. Wednesday. It was a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds at 8 p.m.

65d ago / 12:51 AM UTC

Hurricane Ian weakens to Category 3; northeast Florida coastline prepares for storm surge

65d ago / 12:43 AM UTC

People stranded in Lee County, where damage is ‘extensive’

Officials in Lee County, Florida, where Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday, say initial assessments have revealed extensive damage.

County Manager Roger Desjarlais said that there is extensive damage to infrastructure but that officials don’t know the extent yet in the county, which includes Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

“I am sad to tell you that while we don’t know the full extent of the damage to Lee County right now, we are beginning to get a sense that our community has been, in some respects, decimated,” he said.

Officials said that people are stranded by high water but that officials have been unable to respond to them because of weather conditions.

“We are aware of a number of calls of people who are stranded due to high water,” Lee County Public Safety Director Benjamin Abes said at a news conference. “However, we are faced with conditions that make it impossible to respond right now.”

911 calls are being prioritized for when authorities can respond, he said. People with water in their homes should call 911 and “and seek the highest spot possible.”

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said deputies and other first responders would go to the rescue as soon as they are able.

"Right now, just do the best you can to get to higher ground. Go to the second floor,” Marceno said. “Those that are in need: We want to get to you, and we will get to you as soon as possible.”

65d ago / 12:36 AM UTC

Surveying the damage in Davie, Florida

Zuram Rodriguez surveys the damage around her mobile home in Davie, Fla.
Zuram Rodriguez surveys the damage around her mobile home in Davie, Fla. Joe Cavaretta / South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP
65d ago / 12:15 AM UTC

Orlando-area residents asked to shelter in place

Residents in Orange County, the Florida county that is home to Orlando, have been told to stay inside and off roads as the effects of Hurricane Ian began to be felt Wednesday evening.

“We’ve asked all of our residents to start the process of sheltering in place,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said at a 6 p.m. news conference. “You should not be out on the roadways at this time moving about the community.”

Ian was a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 115 mph at 8 p.m., and its center was about 95 miles southwest of Orlando, the National Hurricane Center said. It was moving northeast.

Orlando was under a hurricane warning, and the National Weather Service said conditions will deteriorate Wednesday night.

“The threat of significant to catastrophic flooding” was expected for an area that includes metro Orlando, the weather agency said, and flooding can be especially dangerous at night. In addition to the wind and the storm surge, the area could get 10 to 15 inches of rain, it said.

“There’s no question that we’re now feeling the effects of this hurricane, and we haven’t seen the worst of it yet,” Demings said.

Image: Hurricane Ian, Florida
A fountain inside a condominium blows almost horizontal as residents tape their windows for alleged security, south of Orlando, Fla., on Sept. 28, 2022.Gregg Newton / AFP - Getty Images
65d ago / 11:59 PM UTC

Hurricane Ian weakens to a Category 3 storm

Hurricane Ian has been downgraded to a Category 3 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Ian, which came ashore in Florida as a powerful Category 4 hurricane and has been lashing the state with winds of 150 mph, is now recording sustained winds of 115 mph, the hurricane center said in its 8 p.m. update.

Ian, which was moving northeast at 8 mph, was about 95 miles southwest of Orlando.

The storm is forecast to move across central Florida on Wednesday night, and catastrophic wind damage is likely near its core, the hurricane center said.

"Widespread, life-threatening catastrophic flash and urban flooding, with major to record flooding along rivers, is expected to continue across central Florida," the center said in its latest update.

Image: Hurricane Ian Slams Into West Coast Of Florida
Motorists travel across the John Ringling Causeway in Sarasota, Fla., on Wednesday as Hurricane Ian moves to the south.Sean Rayford / Getty Images
65d ago / 11:51 PM UTC

Virginia, North Carolina declare states of emergency

The governors of North Carolina and Virginia declared states of emergency Wednesday evening ahead of Hurricane Ian's expected impact later this week.

“A State of Emergency is needed now so that farmers and those preparing for the storm can more quickly get ready for the heavy rain that is likely to fall in much of our state,” North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said in his executive order. “North Carolinians should stay aware, keep a close eye on the forecast and prepare their emergency supplies.” 

The remnants of Ian could bring heavy rain, flooding and even tornadoes to North Carolina on Friday and Saturday. Declaring a state of emergency activates emergency operations plans, waives rules that could inhibit the transport of fuel and critical supplies, helps first responders and protects consumers from price gouging, Cooper said.

Eighty members of the North Carolina National Guard have been activated.

In Virginia, the state of emergency mobilizes resources and equipment needed for response and recovery efforts, Gov. Glenn Youngkin said in a statement.

“We want to ensure that our communities have the resources needed to respond to and recover from any potential effects from the storm," he said. "While we recognize that the storm track is still uncertain, I nevertheless encourage all Virginians and visitors to make a plan, have supplies on hand, and follow official sources for the latest forecast information and guidance."

65d ago / 10:51 PM UTC

Power outages top 1.5 million in Florida

About 1.5 million customers were without power in Florida at 6:45 p.m. ET, according to

The number has been steadily ticking upward throughout the day as Hurricane Ian batters communities and plunges more and more people into darkness.

Florida Power & Light Co., the utility that serves areas hardest hit by Ian, continues to report the most outages, at nearly 1 million homes and businesses Wednesday evening.

65d ago / 10:48 PM UTC

Biden reaches out to Florida mayors offering federal support

President Joe Biden on Wednesday reached out to local officials in Florida to "let them know their communities have the full force of the federal government behind them," the White House said.

The president called the mayors of Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Sarasota and the chair of Charlotte County to discuss the kinds of assistance they might need with Hurricane Ian making landfall. According to a readout from the White House, Biden was able to get hold of only Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson.

The pair "discussed Fort Myers’ ongoing needs including support for the elderly members of the community, families that live in mobile homes and other community members who are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the storm," the White House said.

Biden left messages for the other officials, the White House said. He spoke to Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday night.

65d ago / 10:45 PM UTC

DeSantis warns that more deaths typically occur after a storm hits, urges people to wait

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said people should not immediately venture outside after Hurricane Ian passes, warning that data from past hurricanes shows a higher number of post-storm deaths.

"In Hurricane Irma, there were seven fatalities directly because of the storm, and there were 77 that were a result of post-storm," he said at a news briefing Wednesday evening.

A lot of deaths stem from downed power lines, standing water and the misuse of generators. "Please, make sure that you’re taking the proper precautions," DeSantis said.

DeSantis also addressed the rescue response, saying first responders will wait until things calm down before they venture out. In the meantime, people who live in high-risk areas and have called authorities for help are being "logged," he said.

65d ago / 10:05 PM UTC

FEMA administrator: Hurricane Ian will leave ‘catastrophic footprint’

Sept. 28, 202205:48
65d ago / 10:04 PM UTC

Curfews issued for coastal communities in Florida

Mandatory curfew orders have been issued for the coastal communities of Collier County and the city of Fort Myers starting Wednesday night local time.

The curfew for Collier County, which includes the city of Naples and parts of Everglades National Park, starts Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET and will remain in effect through 6 a.m. ET Thursday. First responders and staff members at hospitals and other essential businesses are exempt.

The city of Fort Myers, in neighboring Lee County, ordered a 48-hour curfew that goes into effect Wednesday at 6 p.m.

65d ago / 9:57 PM UTC

Damaged condos from apparent tornado caused by Hurricane Ian

Damage to condos after a possible tornado caused by Hurricane Ian in Delray Beach, Fla.
Damage to condos after a possible tornado caused by Hurricane Ian in Delray Beach, Fla.Greg Lovett / USA-Today Network
65d ago / 9:57 PM UTC

Ian batters Florida as officials issue new watches and warnings as far away as North Carolina

Hurricane Ian was battering Florida with catastrophic winds and flooding Wednesday, weather officials said as they issued new watches and warnings from the storm as far away as North Carolina.

In a 5 p.m. update, the National Hurricane Center said the eye of the storm was northwest of Fort Myers and moving north toward central Florida at 8 mph. Ian’s wind speeds were clocked at 140 mph, while its storm surge was as high as 18 feet in some areas.

A tropical storm warning was extended to Surf City, North Carolina, while a storm surge watch was issued for most of South Carolina’s northern coast. A tropical storm watch was also extended to Cape Lookout, North Carolina.

The storm is expected to weaken as it moves across Florida, the center said, but it could still be a hurricane when it moves toward the state’s east coast Thursday.

65d ago / 9:30 PM UTC

Marco Island city manager: ‘Streets are indistinguishable from the canals’

Sept. 28, 202202:53
65d ago / 9:23 PM UTC

Flamingos at St. Petersburg botanical garden take shelter from storm in bathroom

65d ago / 8:51 PM UTC

Video shows firetrucks in Naples caught in flooding

Sept. 28, 202200:42
65d ago / 8:51 PM UTC

More than 1 million power outages reported in Florida

Power outages have topped 1 million across Florida as of 4:45 p.m. ET, less than two hours after Hurricane Ian made landfall.

The bulk of these outages, more than 700,000, are within the coverage area serviced by Florida Power & Light Co. This includes Lee County, where Ian first hit Wednesday afternoon.

65d ago / 8:44 PM UTC

City of Bradenton warns wastewater treatment plant in danger of overflowing

The city of Bradenton, about 25 miles south of St. Petersburg, Florida, said its public works staff had warned that the city's wastewater treatment plant was "full and is in danger of overflowing."

The city pleaded with residents to conserve water, adding that they should avoid doing "dishes or laundry, flush only when necessary, limit showering, etc."

65d ago / 8:39 PM UTC

‘You have to stay put’: Fort Myers mayor urges nonevacuated residents to stay indoors

Sept. 28, 202201:22
65d ago / 8:36 PM UTC

3 Cuban migrants rescued after vessel sinks amid Ian, 20 still missing

Three Cuban migrants who attempted to swim to shore after their vessel sank in the midst of Hurricane Ian have been rescued by U.S. Coast Guard crews, officials said in a tweet.

They are being treated in a local hospital for symptoms related to exhaustion and dehydration.

Twenty other migrants are still missing and an air search is underway, officials said.

65d ago / 8:26 PM UTC

Hurricane Ian is fifth most powerful storm in terms of wind speed to ever hit U.S.

Sept. 28, 202201:57
65d ago / 8:25 PM UTC

'Don't go outside': Charlotte County spokesperson urges residents to remain indoors

Todd Dunn, the public information officer for Charlotte County, urged nonevacuated residents to remain inside as Hurricane Ian slammed Florida on Wednesday.

The county, which is just north of Fort Myers, was preparing for 8 to 14 feet of storm surge as the winds picked up, Dunn said. Emergency teams were on standby to begin rescues, but they were waiting until it was safe to venture out.

Dunn said he hoped people had heeded the county's warnings and evacuated before the storm arrived, as the shelter that can hold 3,500 people only held about 1,000 when the storm hit.

"Our message we have been trying to convey: Stay safe and go to an interior space, away from windows and doors, and get to a center part of your house and ride the storm out," he said. "Don’t go outside. It is very dangerous."

65d ago / 8:10 PM UTC

NBC News correspondent Kerry Sanders offers a glimpse behind those dramatic hurricane shots

65d ago / 7:44 PM UTC

Winds whip through Punta Gorda downing street signs, sending debris flying

Sept. 28, 202206:02
65d ago / 7:40 PM UTC

More than 800,000 Floridians without power

Hurricane Ian has knocked out power for more than 810,000 people in Florida as of 3:35 p.m. ET, according to, which aggregates data from utilities across the state.

Florida Power & Light Co., whose service area includes Lee County, reported the most outages Wednesday afternoon, with nearly 542,000 customers without power.

Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa, in Lee County, shortly after 3 p.m. ET.

65d ago / 7:19 PM UTC

Ian makes landfall on the west coast of Florida

Hurricane Ian made landfall on the west coast of Florida at 3:05 p.m. ET as an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 storm, hitting the southwest coast at the island of Cayo Costa, near Fort Myers and Cape Coral, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Ian walloped the region with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph.

65d ago / 7:04 PM UTC

'People will be forced to swim': Expert fears Florida residents unprepared for Ian's storm surge

From his perch atop a parking garage in Punta Gorda, Florida, Hal Needham is expecting catastrophe from Hurricane Ian, which was churning with incredible power offshore Wednesday and bearing down on a town where it was clear not everyone had heeded warnings to evacuate.

Needham told NBC News by phone that residents nearby were not ready for what was to come.

“I think a lot of people will be forced to swim or wade in the water for their survival,” he said, speaking from a town in the path of Ian. “It will be like a raging river.”

Needham, an extreme weather and disaster scientist with the GeoTrek project, said Wednesday that he is expecting a massive storm surge as the hurricane approached. The powerful hurricane drew water out of the harbor alongside Punta Gorda on Wednesday morning, but soon all of that water and much more would be flowing through Punta Gorda.

“We’ll get a surge here that will be catastrophic," he said. "We’re expecting 12 to 18 feet of storm surge, according to the National Hurricane Center.”

65d ago / 6:40 PM UTC

Tampa tenant facing eviction stays put, fearing landlord won’t let him back in after Ian

TAMPA, Fla. — With Hurricane Ian bearing down on Florida, 63-year-old Kenny Lofton faced two equally awful scenarios Wednesday — being evicted from his apartment by his landlord or being evicted by the storm.

Lofton said he knew staying put could be dangerous, but feared leaving his apartment in North Tampa for a shelter because he might not have a home to come back to when the hurricane finally passes.

“I’m home packing my belongings,” Lofton told NBC News. “I have no clue where to go.”

Lofton is one of the more than 2 million people in Florida who were asked to pack up and evacuate before Ian made landfall. But he is also facing eviction Friday because, with rising prices, his government housing assistance is no longer enough to pay the rent.

Read the full story here.

65d ago / 6:25 PM UTC

Apparent downed power line catches fire after Hurricane Ian’s eyewall makes landfall in Florida

Sept. 28, 202201:17
65d ago / 6:25 PM UTC

Hurricane Hunter flies into Ian and takes video of the 'roughest flight of my career'

Nick Underwood, an engineer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hurricane Hunters, has flown into storms with a team of scientists for the past six years.

He said the flight into Hurricane Ian on the P-3 turboprop plane the NOAA has flown into hurricanes since the 1970s was undoubtedly the "roughest flight of my career."

He shared video of the flight, in which the NOAA measures various aspects of the storm, on his Twitter account.

65d ago / 6:23 PM UTC

Ian already wreaking havoc as it nears coast of southwestern Florida

Hurricane Ian was already causing "catastrophic" storm surge, winds and flooding along the Florida Peninsula on Wednesday afternoon as the storm neared the southwestern coast of the state, according to a 2 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

Ian was packed with maximum sustained winds around 155 mph, according to the center. The storm was about 25 miles away from Fort Myers.

65d ago / 5:59 PM UTC

Roadways become waterways in Naples as eyewall of hurricane makes landfall

Sept. 28, 202202:30
65d ago / 5:58 PM UTC

More than 1,000 Florida flights canceled Tuesday as Hurricane Ian approaches

In total, Florida airports canceled more than 1,000 flights set to arrive or depart Tuesday, according to FlightAware.

More than 700 arrivals and departures were canceled at the Orlando International Airport after it closed Tuesday evening. It also shut down commercial flights Wednesday.

Miami International Airport said it had canceled 206 arrivals and 214 departures Tuesday due to the hurricane. The airport said that would affect flights between Miami and cities across the U.S., the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

Tampa International Airport closed Tuesday, canceling hundreds of flights Wednesday as Ian's arrival loomed. Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers closed as well and reported hundreds of cancellations as a result.

65d ago / 5:57 PM UTC

Floridians are livestreaming Hurricane Ian on TikTok

Floridians are giving TikTok users a front-row seat to Hurricane Ian.

Dozens of TikTok users in Florida used TikTok’s livestream feature Wednesday to offer a window into their lives as the hurricane approached. Some showed beaches and struggled to speak above the howling winds, while others broadcast from their homes as trees were whipped around outside.

“I wanted to give an accurate portrayal,” Brad Stecklein, a golf instructor in Fort Myers, who goes by “golfpantsman” on TikTok, told NBC News in a phone interview Wednesday. Stecklein has gone live on TikTok to more than 5,000 people to showcase the storm in his backyard. 

“These storms have been so overhyped in the 20 years my wife and I have lived down here, it’s hard to take them seriously,” he said. “This one is going to redefine how people act.”

Read the full story here.

65d ago / 5:47 PM UTC

Gov. DeSantis: 42,000 linemen prepared to restore power in response to hurricane

Sept. 28, 202203:20
65d ago / 5:39 PM UTC

Jacksonville mayor issues a state of emergency for the city

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry declared a state of emergency for his city Wednesday and recommended evacuations for those who live in areas prone to flooding.

Residents should quickly learn what evacuation and flood zones they live in, said Curry, who also activated the city's emergency operations center.

The order made it easier to allocate money and resources to protect those who live in Jacksonville, he said. It also opened emergency shelters and closed schools and government buildings from Wednesday through at least Saturday.

Curry emphasized, however, that he was not yet ordering a mandatory evacuation.

65d ago / 5:23 PM UTC

Naples mayor indicates concern for thrill-seekers as Ian approaches 

Naples Mayor Teresa Heitmann expressed “safety concerns for “thrill-seekers” Wednesday afternoon as Hurricane Ian made its way inland. 

Thrill-seekers are known to chase the eye of hurricanes that hit land, an extremely dangerous activity. 

“It’s concerning, it’s very dangerous, there are downed wires, we’ve had a few electrical fires," she said Wednesday afternoon on MSNBC.

Heitmann and the city's manager, Jay Boodheshwar, drove through Naples as the high tide approached. Residents were still seen on the city’s streets.

“My message to them is, please, stay indoors and hunker down.” 

Officials have spoken about how disappointing it is to see people take the risk. 

“Unfortunately we can’t get to them now, the streets are flooding, and it is coming in fast and furious.”