Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday, with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph as millions of people along the Gulf Coast braced for a catastrophic storm surge. More than 1.8 million people in the state were without power as the storm moved northeast across the peninsula.
Yahoo News provided live updates on the storm and its impacts throughout the day.
The latest on Hurricane Ian
• Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds near 150 mph.
• Since downgraded to a Category 3 storm, with sustained winds of 125 mph, Ian is still packing a dangerous punch, officials warn.
• The National Hurricane Center is predicting a "catastrophic" storm surge of up to 18 feet in some areas.
• About 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate ahead of the storm.
• More than 1.8 million people are without power.
• President Biden says he spoke with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and pledged federal help.
Ian's winds start to diminish, but could remain 'near hurricane strength' across Florida
After making landfall Wednesday as a Category 4 storm with sustained winds measuring 150 m.p.h., Hurricane Ian continued to lose strength hours later as it creeped inland, the National Hurricane Center said in its 8 p.m. ET bulletin.
While Ian's maximum sustained winds have now dropped to 115 m.p.h., the storm is still more than powerful enough to cause a variety of threats, including wind damage and flash-flooding, and it may remain a hurricane during its entire journey across the state.
"Ian is a category 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale," the National Hurricane Center said in its bulletin. "Further weakening is expected for the next day or so, but Ian could be near hurricane strength when it moves over the Florida East coast tomorrow, and when it approaches the northeastern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coasts on Friday."
The storm will head north and east across the state tonight, the Hurricane Center said, before emerging "over the western Atlantic by late Thursday." From there, it will turn north, where it could threaten several states with storm surge and heavy rain.
Hurricane Ian knocks out power to 1.8 million in Florida
More than 1.8 million Floridians have lost power since Hurricane Ian pushed ashore as a Category 4 storm Wednesday.
While the storm was downgraded Wednesday evening by the National Hurricane Center to a Category 3 storm, power outages continued to rise as is moved inland. As of 7:45 p.m. ET, 1,803,012 customers were without power in the state, according to according to PowerOutage.US, a website that tracks electricity providers in each state.
Still packing sustained winds of 125 m.p.h., Ian will like force many more in the state to get by without electricity in the hours to come.
Hurricane Ian downgraded to Category 3 storm
Hours after making landfall near Ft. Meyers as a massive Category 4 storm along Florida's Gulf Coast, Hurricane Ian was officially downgraded to a Category 3 storm as it began to move across the the middle portion of the state Wednesday evening.
Ian's maximum sustained winds were 125 miles-per-hour, the National Hurricane Center said in its 7 p.m. advisory, but higher wind gusts have been reported in towns like Punta Gorda.
As night fell on Florida, more than 1.6 million residents were without power, according to PowerOutage.US, a website that tracks electricity providers in each state.