ST. PETERSBURG — Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday in southwest Florida as one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the U.S., swamping city streets with water and smashing trees along the coast.
The massive storm was expected to trigger flooding across a wide area of Florida as it crawls northeastward, and at least one sheriff's office along the coast reported that it was already getting "a significant number of calls" from people trapped in their homes. The hurricane's center struck near Cayo Costa, a protected barrier island just west of heavily populated Fort Myers.
Thousands will be impacted by the storm as rips through Florida -- Here's how you can help.
Or scan the QR code
Mark Pritchett stepped outside his home in Venice around the time the hurricane came ashore about 35 miles to the south. He called it "terrifying."
"I literally couldn't stand against the wind," Pritchett wrote in a text message. "Rain shooting like needles. My street is a river. Limbs and trees down. And the worst is yet to come."
for more features.