Fortunately for Florida, storms which blossom quickly fade just as fast. What came ashore as Hurricane Ian is now just Tropical Storm Ian—still carrying lots of rain, which will be worrisome for northern Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, but with greatly reduced winds.
From the National Hurricane Center:
1. Coastal water levels continue to subside along the west coast of Florida. There is a danger of life-threatening storm surge today through Friday along the coasts of northeast Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Residents in these areas should follow any advice given by local officials.2. Tropical-storm-force winds are expected to spread northward across northeastern Florida, Georgia, and the Carolina coasts through Friday. Hurricane conditions are possible through Friday along the coasts of northeastern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina where a Hurricane Watch in effect. 3. Widespread, life-threatening catastrophic flooding, with major to record river flooding, will continue today across portions of central Florida with considerable flooding in northern Florida, southeastern Georgia and eastern South Carolina expected today through the end of the week.
Floods now become the chief threat to Floridians (and to Georgians and Carolinians as well), some 2 million or more of whom are already without power in Ian’s wake.
While it's still too early for officials to assess structural damage, more than 2 million people in the state were without power as of Wednesday night, according to poweroutage.us. Flooding swept away cars and buildings, and downed power lines sparked fires in coastal towns. Several cities asked residents to conserve water as flooded water facilities struggled to keep up with demand.
It will be later today before substantial estimates of the total damage left behind begin to be reported. Undoubtedly, those costs will tally in the billions of dollars, as news reports are calling the damage “catastrophic”.
The storm is passing. The cleanup begins.