Watch: Sharks on road, flood waters and horrific damage as Hurricane Ian wrecks Florida

Earlier this week MIN announced that IBEX organisers cancelled the Florida marine trade show as Hurricane Ian was predicted to devastate the state. Footage and images have started to surface of the devastation in Tampa (the site of IBEX) and further around Florida.

The storm hit Cuba before making landfall as an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm in southwest Florida shortly after 15:00 Wednesday (Eastern Time Zone). By 23:00, the National Hurricane Centre said wind speeds had dropped, and it was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane.

At this time, Ian’s centre was about 70 miles south of Orlando and around 80 miles southwest of Cape Canaveral. Moving north-northeast at about 8 mph, the storm had maximum sustained winds of 90 mph, with higher gusts, late Wednesday night according to CNN.

In coastal Florida, desperate people posted to Facebook and other social sites, pleading for rescue for themselves or loved ones, says the Associated Press. Debris-covered water was surging toward homes’ eaves and a coastal sheriff’s office says that it was getting many calls from people trapped in flooded homes.

Tampa PD urged people to stay inside as they released images of storm damage.

An estimated 2.2 million customers in Florida are without electricity, according to PowerOutage.us.

This timelapse of the storm was taken in Fort Myers.

“Water levels are quite high in those areas still and so it will take some time for the water to recede,” says Cody Fritz, storm surge specialist at the National Hurricane Centre.

“There’s still plenty of onshore flow along the coast keeping water levels elevated, so while the peak surge values will decrease here relative to previous value, I still expect waters to be up for awhile and the need to maintain the storm surge warnings,” Fritz says.

“The Gulf of Mexico is literally moving inland across the beaches into the communities,” Erik Salna, associate director of the International Hurricane Research Centre told the BBC. “That invasion of water is just hard to even imagine until you see it for real.”

Statistically and historically, water kills more people than wind, Salna says. And Ian is “a worst-case scenario amount of water”.

Just hours before the hurricane arrived, water from beaches up and down the coast was sucked away.

Venice Fishing Pier. Image courtesy of City of Venice on Twitter

Osprey. Image courtesy of Kim Kuiszon on Twitter

The phenomenon is called a negative storm surge — also known as a blowout tide — and it’s what happens when offshore hurricane winds push water from the coast, leaving beaches desolate, says the Washington Post. Blowout tides are the opposite of storm surge, which fiercely pushes water over the shore.

As with the similar telltale signs of a tsunami, experts warn that if ocean water drains away suddenly, get as far away from the water as possible.

(Image courtesy of Christina Cabino Weldon on Bayshore.)

Footage shows those ‘braving’ the elements across Florida, including these swimmers at Fort Myers.

And this wakeboarder

Here the power of nature is on display at Haulover Inlet as the category four storm approached and some boats were still attempting to head out to sea, while others rushed in.

As it passed 01:00 in Florida, the full extent of damage from Hurricane Ian is likely to remain unknown for some hours, with power and communications disrupted in many areas and some emergency responders forced to wait for the return of daylight and safer conditions before beginning a full search and rescue operation, says the Guardian.

While no deaths have yet been reported in the US, Ian killed two people in Cuba and a boat carrying 23 Cuban migrants sank Wednesday in stormy weather east of Key West.

Sharks seen swimming on submerged roads?

Many shark videos and images purport to be live footage from Hurricane Ian. MIN believes that this one is the most likely to be real.

In February 2021, Storm Eunice battered Britain just two days after Storm Dudley. A Maserati trimaran ‘thrown into air’ by violent storm at Italian marina in August 2021.

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