Hurricane Ian

The wind blows palm trees ahead of Hurricane Ian in Charlotte Harbor, Fla., on Sept. 28, 2022. Ricardo Arduengo/AFP — Getty Images

More than 2.5 million customers across Florida were without power Thursday (Sept. 29) morning after Hurricane Ian, now a tropical storm, walloped the state as one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the U.S., causing widespread devastation and flooding that trapped residents in their homes, according to NBC News.

Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm Thursday morning after slamming into Florida’s southwest coast as a major Category 4 hurricane Wednesday afternoon, bringing 150 mph winds and life-threatening storm surge.

Maximum sustained winds dropped to near 65 mph with higher gusts early Thursday, but the storm has continued to cause destruction as it moves northeast. Its center is expected to move off the east-central coast of Florida later Thursday before approaching the coast of South Carolina on Friday.

President Joe Biden on Thursday declared a major disaster in Florida over the devastation caused by Ian. The president ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in areas affected by the storm starting on Sept. 23 and onwards, the White House said.

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