Hurricane Ian and its Devastating Effects


A flooded neighborhood Thursday in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Fla. RICARDO ARDUENGO/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

Hurricane Ian was a storm that began on September 27, 2022, in the Caribbean and hit La Coloma, Cuba as a category 3 storm. Ian then traveled to Cayo Costa, Florida as a borderline category 5 hurricane. Finally, Ian ended up in Georgetown, South Carolina as a category one hurricane.

Officials warned residents in the Tampa Bay area on September 26 of a category 3 hurricane coming their way. The next day Hurricane Ian was classified as a borderline category 5 storm that had moved from Tampa and was now aiming to destroy the Lee county and Fort Myers areas. Florida was struck with 150 mph winds that demolished thousands of homes and other properties. 21.16 inches of rain landed in Florida, four times the average rainfall, in just 36 hours. That is third in the most rain since 2005 besides the rain that occurred during Hurricane Harvey.

2.5 million people were told to evacuate their homes in Florida. One hundred evacuation centers were open statewide, but not everyone could leave their homes. At least 119 people in Florida have unfortunately died from the storm, most died from drowning as flooding rose up to 18 feet. 3.4 million plus power outages in the U.S. and 11 million in Cuba. Ian also caused $60 million plus in insured loss just in Florida. That is the second-largest disaster loss since 2005 from Hurricane Katrina.

Climate change has made hurricanes more likely to occur. The heat in the Atlantic Ocean helps storms like Ian to grow and become stronger. The Atlantic is getting warmer from the burning of fossil fuels which releases carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere and gets trapped in the Earth making the air and water hotter. When a tropical storm starts in the Atlantic it starts off weak, but the heat allows the hurricane to grow from a category 3 hurricane strong enough to damage roofs to a category 5 hurricane that removes roofs altogether.

If you are interested in donating to help Hurricane Ian victims call 1-800-RED CROSS, or text the word IAN to 90999 to make a $10 donation.