The storm is on track to intensify to an intense category 4 hurricane before making landfall later today

As of Wednesday 28 September (9.30am GMT) Hurricane Ian was tracking towards Cape Coral and set to intensify to a category 4 storm before making landfall. This is a more southerly path than forecast yesterday, when a Tampa landfall was looking more likely.

According to the National Hurricane Center, life threatening storm surge is expected along Florida’s west coast and the Lower Florida Keys, with the highest risk from Naples to the Sarasota region.

Hurricane-force winds are expected in the hurricane warning area in southwest and west-central Florida beginning Wednesday morning, Eastern Time. “Devastating wind damage is expected near the core of Ian,” warns NHC.

Widespread flooding expected

The forecaster expects that heavy rainfall will spread across the Florida peninsula through Thursday, reaching portios of the Southeast later this week and into this weekend. 

“Catastrophic flooding is expected across portions of central Florida with considerable flooding in southern Florida, northern Florida, southeastern Georgia and coastal South Carolina,” it continued. 

According to Guy Carpenter, industry losses ranging between $15 billion and $35 billion are an increasing possibility.