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Ian expected to cause life-threatening storm surge, catastrophic winds and flooding

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

The National Hurricane Center's 11 p.m. update Tuesday showed Hurricane Ian about 110 miles southwest of Naples, FL.

Ian is moving toward the north-northeast near 10 mph. This general motion with a reduction in forward speed is forecast tonight and Wednesday, followed by a turn toward the north on Thursday.

On the forecast track, the center of Ian is expected to pass west of the Florida Keys within the next few hours, and approach the west coast of Florida on Wednesday near Fort Myers.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for Chokoloskee, just south of Everglades City, to Aclote River, including Tampa Bay.

The center of Ian is forecast to move over central Florida Wednesday night and Thursday morning and emerge over the western Atlantic by late Thursday.

Ian is forecast to approach the west coast of Florida as an extremely dangerous, major hurricane.

A life-threatening storm surge is expected along Florida's west coast, where a storm surge warning is currently in effect. The highest risk is from Naples to the Sarasota region.

Maximum sustained winds are near 120 mph with higher gusts, making Ian a category three hurricane. Strengthening is expected until it makes landfall.

A storm surge warning is in effect from Suwanee River southward to Flamingo, including Tampa Bay.

Widespread catastrophic flash, urban, and river flooding is expected across central Florida, as well as southern portions of the state through Wednesday.

Similar flooding is predicted across portions of northeast Florida, southeastern Georgia, and coastal South Carolina later this week through the weekend, while limited flooding is possible over portions of the Southeast and southern Mid-Atlantic during that time.

Tornadoes are possible through Wednesday across central and south Florida.

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