Hurricane Ian came ashore as an extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane earlier this afternoon, bringing with it life-threatening wind, rain, storm surge and flooding. The storm made landfall near Cayo Costa, Florida, which is about an hour and 20 minutes south of Sarasota. Video from the Regional and Mesoscale Meteorology Branch and Connecting Models and Observations (RAMMB-CIRA), which partners with Colorado State University (CSU) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows the exact moments the powerful storm made landfall.
As the slow-moving storm continues to make its way through the region, Sarasota County officials say that about 75 percent of the county is without power, including the county's evacuation centers, where about 4,500 people and 560 pets have taken shelter. (Evacuation centers for the medically dependent are running on generator power). Officials are urging residents to shelter in place and ride out the storm, then wait to venture out until county response teams have deemed it safe to do so.
"The roadways need to stay clear so our teams can assess damage," Sarasota County director of communications Jamie Carson said.
A flash flood warning is in effect for Sarasota County and eastern Manatee County until 9 p.m., and radars show that between 5 and 16 inches of rain have fallen so far, depending on the area, with an additional 3 to 6 more possible.
Doppler radar indicated that between 5 to 16 inches of rain has fallen so far and an additional 3 to 6 inches is possible for the areas indicated previously.
If you have questions, operators in both counties are standing by. Call 311 in both Sarasota and Manatee, or if you're outside the area, call (941) 861-5000 for Sarasota County and (941) 748-4501 for Manatee County.