The Peace River, which runs through Polk and Hardee counties, reached a record high of 25.26 feet before sunrise. That number is expected to rise.
Officials in Polk County said, as of 6 a.m., half of the county is without power and it is still unsafe to assess the damage before daylight. Their biggest concern is the Peace River Village MHP and areas surrounding the river.
Hurricane Ian's winds ripped off a flexible membrane of the Sarasota airport's roof, causing water damage inside the building. Airport officials say cleanup is already underway and they are hoping to reopen by Saturday at the latest.
Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday afternoon near Fort Myers as a major hurricane just shy of a Category 5. The area was somewhat caught off-guard after the storm's projected path began to shift south a day before. Residents had little time to evacuate their homes before feet of water rushed in due to storm surge.
Wind was the main cause of damage in Sarasota County and it was evident at Park East Club Mobile Home Park. Ceilings caved in and the metal roofs of were sitting in roadways and backyards.
Hurricane Ian knocked out power for more than a million customers in the Bay Area.
The cleanup after Hurricane Ian could take days or weeks for some parts of Central Florida, especially Polk County.
FOX 13's Aaron Mesmer shows more reasons residents are being asked to stay home as Hurricane Ian continues to down trees, knock out power, and create flooding and impassible roads.
FOX 13's Haley Hinds shows the damage left by Hurricane Ian across Hillsborough County, including Tampa.
The Tampa Police Department posted video of a streetlight coming down due to wind from Hurricane Ian, warning people to stay home unless travel is absolutely necessary.
Folks ran for cover when electric transformers sent sparks flying as Hurricane Ian moved across Florida. Courtesy: Robert Gardner
Despite being spared the worst of Hurricane Ian, officials in Hillsborough County are telling residents to stay home and stay safe as strong winds knock down trees and power lines.
Some of Hurricane Ian's worst inland impacts will be felt after nightfall in Polk County.
Hurricane Ian battered Florida's southwest coast Wednesday. Residents in Manatee County were somewhat relieved to be spared of the storm's worst impacts, but they will still spend at least one night in the dark with widespread power outages.
Crews say it will be a while before it's safe enough to get out and repair downed lines. They ask customers to be patient as they wait out the storm.
Satellite video shows lightning around the eye of Hurricane Ian as it made landfall near Fort Myers as a Category 4 storm, with 157 mile-per-hour winds.
This timelapse video shows Tampa Bay draining as Hurricane Ian marched up the west coast of Florida.
Where’s Jim Cantore? It’s a popular question anytime bad weather is in the forecast. Turns out he’s dodging Hurricane Ian storm debris in Punta Gorda, Florida – with mixed results.
FOX 13's Kimberly Kuizon is in Sarasota where many trees are snapping and winds are strong as Hurricane Ian moves north.