Projected path: Here’s where Ian is going

Editor’s note: A version of this article originally appeared in CNN Weather Brief, a weekly weather bulletin released every Monday. You can sign up here to receive weekly and prominent storms.



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The sun has risen over the Sunshine State, and soon we’ll learn more about the trail of destruction Hurricane Ian has left in Southwest Florida. Many of the hardest hit areas lost all communications during the storm, and we still don’t know how bad it was there.

“It’s hard to say exactly what you have until you start going into these places,” Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno told CNN’s “New Day” Thursday morning.

“I know people who have not evacuated, they are in their homes. They tried to cover it up. They went to the second floor, and maybe even the attic, because the water rose very high here with an increase of approximately 15 meters.

Get live updates on what we see after sunrise

And Ian isn’t done.

It has weakened to a strong tropical storm that is still releasing feet of rain as the storm’s center moves off Florida’s east coast.

Timelapse shows streets flooded by hurricane storm surge in Fort Myers

Several areas around metro Orlando are under a flood emergency, where flooding is already occurring.

Between 10 and 15 centimeters of rain have fallen in the area and another 2 to 4 centimeters is possible.

Ian will move along the coast of east-central Florida on Thursday and then approach the coast of South Carolina on Friday.

Maximum wind speeds with Ian are 65 mph, higher gusts, but tropical storm force winds (39 mph+) are extending from Tampa, Florida to north of Charleston, South Carolina.

The tropical storm’s wind field stretched more than 550 miles on Thursday, 200 miles longer than when Hurricane Ian made landfall on Wednesday.

“Slight reinvigoration is expected, and Ian may approach hurricane strength as it approaches the South Carolina coast on Friday,” the Hurricane Center said.

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Although not as strong as when it hit the west coast of Florida, it will bring damaging winds, storm surges and flooding rains to these coasts.

We are following this strengthening closely but, whether we do or not, those in the path of the storm should be prepared for these tropical conditions.

Forecast: Hurricane Ian again, targeting the Carolinas and Georgia