Hurricane Ian weakens as it moves northeast

The 2 a.m. Thursday projection for Hurricane Ian.
The 2 a.m. Thursday projection for Hurricane Ian.(WWSB-TV)
Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 2:05 AM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2022 at 2:33 AM EDT
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Hurricane Ian continues it’s slow march across Florida, approaching Orlando Thursday morning after wrecking Southwest Florida on Wednesday.

At 2 a.m., the center of Hurricane Ian was about 55 miles south-southeast of Orlando and moving toward the northeast at 9 mph. Maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 75 mph with higher gusts.

Ian is expected to move across central Florida this morning and emerge into the Atlantic later today.

Bradenton Police reported on Twitter that the highest wind gust reported in Manatee County Wednesday was 85 mph in the northeast section of the county, with 59 mph reported in Bayshore Gardens.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles from the center; tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles. A WeatherFlow station at New Smyrna Beach recently reported a sustained wind of 55 mph and a gust to 86 mph. A sustained wind of 39 mph and a gust to 66 mph were recently reported at Melbourne.

Further weakening is expected for the next day or so, but Ian could be near hurricane strength when it approaches the northeastern Florida, Georgia and South Carolina coasts on Friday.

The Hurricane Warning from Bonita Beach to Chokoloskee has been discontinued. The Tropical Storm Warning from Chokoloskee to Flamingo has been discontinued.