At least one dead, roughly 2.5M without power as Hurricane Ian churns across Florida
Forecasters project the storm could make a second landfall in South Carolina.
Hurricane Ian is leaving a path of destruction across Florida, with officials reporting Thursday that the storm – one of the strongest hurricanes in history to hit the United States – has resulted in at least one death, swamped much of the state's southwest region with torrential rains and knocked out power to roughly 2.5 million people.
Ian's center came ashore at about 3 p.m. Wednesday near Cape Coral, roughly 100 miles south of the more-heavily populated Tampa and St. Petersburg.
The storm made landfall in southwest Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, with 150 mph winds, tying it for the fifth-strongest hurricane, by wind speed, to strike the U.S., according to the Associated Press.
As of early Thursday morning, one storm-related death had been reported. A 72-year-old man in Deltona, Flordia, fell into a canal in the heavy rain while using a hose to drain his pool, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office told the wire service.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, also on Thursday morning, told ABC's "Good Morning America" the death toll could eventually be "in the hundreds."
The National Hurricane Center reports Ian became a tropical storm over land early Thursday and is expected to regain near-hurricane strength after leaving Florida's central east coast and emerging over the Atlantic Ocean later in the day.
Forecasters project the storm could next make a second landfall in South Carolina, the Associated Press also reports.