Hurricane Ian has Tested Even the Best Response Plans
Hurricane Ian is historic on many levels. Early projections are that insurance and reinsurance losses will top $30 Billion.
It will take some time to fully assess how costly it will be, but it has already made the meteorological record books.
Day by Day Insights
Thursday: Extreme Flood Threat Continues
Ian is now a slow-moving tropical storm and still threatens to disrupt continuity plans and everyday life from eastern Florida to the Carolinas.
The primary threats now are extreme inland flooding, storm surge, tornadoes and minor wind damage.
The category 4 storm produced more than a foot of rain across a wide swath of Central Florida, with the highest totals roughly 10 to 30 miles northwest of the center’s track.
Heavy rain and inland flooding will continue to be a threat to homes and businesses along Ian’s path as it likely makes a second landfall in South Carolina Friday morning.
Preparations to move assets to higher ground should be rushed to completion in all flood-prone areas of coastal Georgia, South and North Carolina. Even though Ian has weakened considerably in terms of wind, a significant inland flooding risk continues along its path.
Ian Forecast to Regain Hurricane Strength Ahead of Second Landfall in South Carolina
Tropical Storm Ian moved off the East Coast of Florida Thursday morning, and forecast data strongly suggests it will reintensify over the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean before making a second landfall in South Carolina early Friday.
Power outages in Florida continue to add up.
Outages reported across Florida topped 2.6 Million Thursday afternoon. A second epicenter of outages was apparent along Florida’s First Coast, with more than 70% of customers in Volusia, Flagler and Seminole Counties left in the dark by the end of the day.
Little or no improvement was apparent in Southwest Florida where Ian made landfall more than 24 hours prior.
Wednesday: Hurricane Ian Blasts Florida
Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified into an “extremely dangerous” Category 4 storm early Wednesday morning, and make landfall near Captiva Island with winds up to 155 mph just after noon Eastern time. The storm continued to move inland across much of Southwest Florida and gradually weaken Wednesday afternoon and evening.
Storm surge levels of 8 to 12 feet overwhelmed coastal communities, pushed water dozens of miles inland up both the Peace and Caloosahatchee rivers, and destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses.
The highest sustained wind speed recorded from Ian was 140 mph near Cape Coral, with other numbers confirmed by the National Weather Service in Lee, Sarasota and Charlotte counties between 100 and 124 mph.
Rainfall totals of 18 to 24 inches were estimated by radar in a large swath near and northwest of Ian’s center of circulation.
Tuesday: Deadline Day
Today is deadline day for those in the path of Hurricane Ian. Preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion.
Higher resolution model data, including the exclusive Baron model, are now reliable to assess specific impacts on your people and assets.
And when it comes to extreme impacts, wobbles matter. Here’s a look at our Tuesday morning run of our future wind model, with the current satellite image and official forecast track from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) included for reference.
Monday: Decision Day
The time for monitoring and planning has closed. Today is the day to act if your business is in the path of Hurricane Ian.
A life-threatening storm surge, destructive winds, and severe flooding are forecast to affect a large portion of Florida’s west coast within 48 hours.
As of 8 am ET Monday, a Hurricane Watch was issued for all areas along Florida’s Gulf Coast from Tarpon Springs to Englewood. A Storm Surge Watch was in effect for the same areas but also includes all coastal areas and inlets as far south as the Key West. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for the lower Florida Keys west of the Seven Mile Bridge.
Higher resolution models are now credible to predict a worst-case scenario for your business or community. It’s time to prepare for those impacts and identify the trouble spots to avoid with your assets and resources. It will also be the day many evacuation orders are issued, and delays on the roadways should be expected.
Check out our complete guide to hurricane response for more suggested actions while you prepare for impact.
No two hurricanes are alike. While there are similarities in how you might prepare for one, every storm’s path and motion are unique and require strategic thought and flexibility. The timing of your implementation can be just as important as the planning itself.
We hope this guide can improve the efficacy of your response by giving you confidence in when to make those difficult decisions. We’ve given you several brief examples of exactly how Baron technology could benefit your organization. Let us know if you want to talk to an expert and discuss how our superior weather data can help you make better hurricane decisions.