Florida residents prepare for a long night as Hurricane Ian slowly rages across the state – NBC Chicago

As Hurricane Ian slowly creeps across the state of Florida, moving at less than 10 miles per hour, officials tell residents to expect major flooding problems and warn that it is too dangerous for most rescuers to attempt rescue.

As a result, some communities tell residents to go to the top level of their homes and wait for rescue, which can take days even if the water continues to rise.

Ian made landfall in Florida on Wednesday afternoon, with winds in excess of 240 miles per hour as the land headed south from Tampa.

Storm surges of up to 18 feet were reported in some areas, submerging neighborhoods and lifting homes and other structures from their foundations.

The slow-moving storm is also dumping massive amounts of rain on the state, with some areas potentially seeing 20 or more inches of rain before all is said and done.

In addition to the storm surge and flooding, the threat of tornadoes also looms large, with more than a dozen reported statewide. One tore the roof of an apartment complex in Del Ray Beach, according to residents.

“Suddenly I felt something and then heard as if a train was coming through the house,” says one resident.

As Hurricane Ian continues to pound Florida, families share their stories with NBC 5’s Natalie Martinez.

Officials say funds will be ready to withdraw once the storm passes, but they warn it will take weeks or even months to fully process the devastation.

“This is not just a 48-hour ideal,” said Florida Governor Ron DeSantis. “This is something that will be there for days, weeks and months, and unfortunately in some circumstances, even years.”

As conditions continue to worsen, some residents are still trying to contain the storm in their homes, including former Elgin resident Kai Rush, who now lives in Largo, between St. Petersburg and Clearwater.

“The wind is so strong that the water in the toilets is rocking,” he said.

Rush says he still has power, and he thanks his lucky stars.

“You want to be around people you know when disaster strikes,” he said.

Other former Illinois residents have not been so lucky, Rush said.

“(Some friends) the whole house has collapsed,” he said. “They’re in their garage now.”

At 9:30 p.m. Central, the storm was still producing sustained winds of 115 miles per hour near its eye, drifting north at just 13 miles per hour.

Virtually the entire peninsula of Florida is at “high” risk of flash flooding, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Hurricane conditions are expected to continue in Florida through Thursday, with gusty winds and heavy rainfall expected to continue even as the storm continues to head north toward Georgia.

Life-threatening storm surges could hit northeastern Florida, Georgia and even South Carolina by late Thursday and Friday, with officials in those areas already declaring a state of emergency.

Leave a Comment