Hurricane Ian nears Florida landfall with 155 mph winds

Hurricane Ian Nears Landfall
Extensive flooding in Naples from Hurricane Ian. (Courtesy of Naples Police via CNN Newsource)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., (AP) — The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Ian’s most damaging winds have begun hitting Florida’s southwest coast as the storm approaches landfall. The hurricane’s center neared Florida on Wednesday after rapidly intensifying overnight, gaining top winds of 155 mph. That puts Ian just shy of devastating Category 5 hurricane status. Ian is pushing a storm surge that could cause catastrophic damage along the state’s heavily populated Gulf Coast. Forecasters say the Fort Myers region is at highest risk of a surge that could reach 18 feet. Florida’s governor is urging residents in that area to “hunker down.” At least 2.5 million people were ordered to evacuate.