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You are here News Domestic (USA) Hurricane Ian nears Florida with nearly Category 5 power

Hurricane Ian nears Florida with nearly Category 5 power

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Ian hits FloridaHurricane Ian on Wednesday began lashing Florida's Gulf Coast with powerful winds and drenching rain, prompting authorities to tell residents it was too late to evacuate as the eye of the storm inched toward shore with close to Category 5 power.

At 11 a.m. ET (1500 GMT), Ian was around 50 miles (80 km) southwest of Punta Gorda, Florida, with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour (250 km per hour), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.

The hurricane was expected to crash into Florida at about 2 p.m. (1800 GMT) in Charlotte County, about 100 miles south of Tampa and just north of Fort Myers. The region is home to miles of sandy beaches, scores of resort hotels and numerous mobile home parks, a favorite with retirees and vacationers alike.

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