Text-only updates of storm after landfall in Florida

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Floridians woke up Thursday to flooded homes and uprooted trees as Hurricane Ian doused the Sunshine State with heavy rain and strong winds after slamming into it as one of the strongest storms in U.S. history.

The storm, which is on track to weaken to a tropical storm, was forecast to continue lashing the state for most of Thursday before heading out into the Atlantic Ocean. Meteorologists with the National Hurricane Center say it will then turn northwest toward Georgia and South Carolina.

The storm made landfall as a Category 4 storm Wednesday afternoon, flooding parking garages and leaving residents stranded in their homes with battering 150 mph maximum sustained winds — just 7 mph shy of a Category 5 hurricane, the strongest on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane scale. The storm rapidly weakened as it moved through Florida and was a Category 1 late Wednesday as nearly every home and business in three Florida counties was left without power.

The storm previously tore into Cuba, killing two people and bringing down the country’s electrical grid. No injuries or deaths have been reported in Florida. 

Latest developments:

► 2.3 million are without power in Florida, according to PowerOutage.us. 

►The U.S. Coast Guard was still searching for more than 20 Cuban migrants after their boat sank in stormy weather near the Florida Keys.

► Ian’s strength at landfall tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane when measured by wind speed to strike the U.S. It’s tied with five other hurricanes that reached 150 mph — two in Florida, two in Louisiana, and one in Texas.

► Residents described the terror after a tornado tore through a condominium complex near Delray Beach, ripping off roofs and turning over vehicles. “I felt things blow past my head and face,” resident Jim Travis said. “When I opened the door, my apartment was destroyed.” Read more. 

Quick links:

GET TEXT UPDATES: Sign up here for text updates on Hurricane Ian.

HURRICANE IAN TRACKER: Where is Ian headed? See the map.

IAN FORECAST: Ian likely to spend days dumping rain on Florida. Here’s the outlook.

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