Express Lane: Quick summary of Ian impacts across the state by region

Northeast Florida

Fortunately Jacksonville escaped the effects that areas further south (and east, keep in mind the coast’s curvature here) had. Heavy winds, some rain and no flooding on St Johns River or its tributaries in Duval County. However, St Johns County had major flooding along the Matanzas River and standing water on city streets in St Augustine. Flagaler County had similar effects to St Johns, with a large number of power outages as well.

East Central Florida

Volusia and Brevard counties had impacts that rivals any other part of the state outside southwest Florida. Power outages, heavy winds, standing water, and structural damage was reported in both counties.

Central Florida

Orlando experienced a different kind of storm in Ian than it had in Charley. The later was a short-lived heavy wind event, like buzz-saw running through Central Florida. Ian was a slow burn, with lighter winds but a longer duration sustained event and more rain than the region has gotten from a major storm in the modern era. The region is dotted by lakes and rivers and flooding not surprisingly was likely catastrophic in some areas. Power outages were frequent and Polk County in particular has reported a lot of structural damage.

Flooding in Orange County has made the headlines, but Seminole and Osceola Counties got it possibly worse as low-lying areas adjoining swamps, lakes or rivers were overwhelmed. It’s all relative though – the storm was bad everywhere in this region.

Tampa Bay

Power outages and some wind damage has been reported in the bay area, but obviously it could have been much much worse. Flooding wasn’t as much of a problem as feared but the ecological impacts on Tampa Bay (the body of water not the region) could be dramatic and the winds were so powerful the bay effectively lost much of its water before the contraflow of winds brought some of that water back. Internet outages were frequent in the area as well, which complicated getting initial reports of damage and impacts.

Southwest Florida

Impacts in and around the center of the storm were similar to those in Michael- however this region has about 10 times as many residents as the area Michael impacted. (probable) Catastrophic loss of life, unbelievable property damage and a record storm surge all hit the region. Once again, thanks to the uncertain forecast path and failure to issue warnings early enough for the region, evacuations were not as orderly or effective as they had been in Irma. Charlotte, Lee, Collier and DeSoto counties got the absolute worst impacts of Ian. Of the four counties, only Collier had 20% of its residents not lose power. So basically outside of that pocket, the entire region is off the grid currently.

Sarasota and Manatee Counties had lots of power outages and heavy winds. But north of Venice the storm’s impacts were more similar to the Tampa Bay area than to points south.

Southeast Florida

The Miami/Fort Lauderdale/West Palm Beach area were supposed to dodge Ian completely, but that did not happen, due to the sheer size of the storm, and the power in its northeast quadrant which sat over this area overnight Tuesday PM/Wednesday AM. Multiple tornadoes touched down in both Broward and Palm Beach counties, as well as one in Miami-Dade. Sporadic power outages occurred but most areas have been restored already as power crews move north and west to service the heavier outages in areas more seriously impacted throughout the rest of the peninsula.

Treasure Coast

Much like some of the areas to the north, heavy rains and power outages dominated this region, though the rainfall was not enough to create overflows in either the St Lucie River or the Indian River Lagoon. The angle with which the storm crossed the peninsula meant the coastal areas of this region were always on the southeast side of the storm which in Ian (unlike many other storms) was its weakest quadrant.

The Keys

Heavy winds and a few resulting power outages were the extent of the Keys issues. Somehow despite being closer to the storm, the Keys generally escaped the feeder bands with dangerous tornadoes that southeast Florida got whipped by.

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