Tropical storm causes flooding and widespread power outages in Florida

Hurricane Ian left a path of destruction in southwest Florida, trapping people in flooded homes, damaging the roof of a hospital intensive care unit and knocking out power to 2.5 million people before aiming for the Atlantic Coast, SIA refers to foreign media.

The National Hurricane Center said Ian became a tropical storm over land early Thursday and was expected to emerge over Atlantic waters near the Kennedy Space Center later in the day. Flooding rains continued across the state, and a stretch of the Gulf Coast remained inundated by ocean water pushed ashore by the massive storm.

"Severe and life-threatening storm surge inundation of eight to 2.5 to 3 metres above ground level, along with destructive waves, is ongoing along the southwest Florida coastline from Englewood to Bonita Beach, including Charlotte Harbor," the centre said.

Ian was carrying maximum sustained winds of 100 km/h and moving toward the cape at 13 km/h, the Miami-based hurricane centre said.

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