SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Hurricane Iota set a record as the 30th named storm in the 2020 hurricane season. Iota is also the latest Category 5 hurricane to develop in the Atlantic basin. Iota reached Category 5 strength Monday morning with maximum sustained winds of 160 mph. The storm could get slightly stronger before making landfall near 6pm Monday. As of 1pm, Iota is 80 miles west of Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua.
Iota will quickly weaken after landfall, and hit the Nicaragua and Honduras with 10″ to 20″ of rain. This is the same area hit hard by Hurricane Eta, a Category 4 storm, when it made landfall November 3rd. The heavy rain will cause flash flooding and mudslides in areas still saturated from Eta. According to Eric Martin, Executive Director of Harvest Aviation in Wauchula, Florida, it wil take years for these Central American countries to revover from the storm. Harvest Aviation is a missionary disaster relief organization. They were staging to get water purification equipment to their missionary partners in Honduras. But now with Hurricane Iota moving in, those deliveries will be delayed indefinitely.