Hurricane Ian turned into a tropical storm as it traveled through Florida, where millions of residents were without electricity on Thursday morning.

Ian landed Wednesday afternoon as a catastrophic Category 4 storm with wind speeds in excess of 150 miles per hour. Despite its weakness, it is one of the strongest hurricanes that crash into the west coast of the Florida peninsula and continue to cause heavy rains, catastrophic flooding and life-threatening storms.

However, the tropical storm is expected to regain near-hurricane force when it arrives over the Atlantic waters near the St. Kennedy, and South Carolina is planning another landfall.

According to the National Hurricane Center, at a wind speed of around 60mph, Ian’s tropical storm was crawling inland Thursday morning at around 8mph. By 5 a.m. the storm system was approximately 40 miles southeast of Orlando and 35 miles southwest of Cape Canaveral. Downtown Ian is expected to move off the coast of Florida on Thursday afternoon, then move closer to South Carolina at night, and then move further inland via the Carolina on Friday and Saturday nights.

The hurricane was “an impending cruel storm, very dangerous, very malevolent,” Governor Ron DeSantis said Wednesday. “When the storm is over, when there is apparent calm, there are still many dangers.”

Lifeguards and law enforcement in several Florida cities are still waiting for the worst storm to pass before taking to the streets. Florida Power and Light said it needs wind speeds to drop to about 35mph before they can go out to assess the damage to the power infrastructure.

“We will have teams as soon as it is safe,” said CNN David Reuter, a spokesman for Florida Power and Light. “Once we are able to do this, it should take us around 24 hours to assess the extensive nature – or perhaps not in some parts – to figure out where we can start restoring power.”

Reuter added: “Our goal is to restore power as soon as possible, but most importantly, we will do it safely.”

According to the data, more than 2.5 million homes and businesses in Florida were left without electricity side.

With News Wire services

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