Hurricane Ian hits southwest Florida, but largely spares Tampa Bay
That could've been worse.
- In much of Tampa Bay, you’d have a hard time proving that a Category 4 hurricane blew by overnight.
State of play: Communities farther south took the full force of Ian, which made landfall Wednesday afternoon near Cayo Costa and sent a troubling surge of floodwater into communities along southwest Florida coastlines and tributaries.
- The impact on cities like Fort Myers, Boca Grande, Englewood, Cape Coral and North Port will be more clear today.
Yes, but: Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm overnight, and a survey of interior Tampa on this unusually cool morning reveals debris-strewn roadways and downed limbs, but no major problems.
- After days of warnings about a storm surge of 5 to 10 feet, the Hillsborough River stayed well between its banks for the extent of the hurricane.
- Heavy rains left standing water everywhere, but the backside of Ian’s winds lacked destructive power.
What’s next: The terrible paradox of being OK when so many others aren’t. This is when good citizens look for opportunities to help those less fortunate.
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