Breaking News
More () »

LIVE UPDATES: HCSO urges people to stay off roadways after reports of downed power lines

Hurricane and storm surge warnings remain in effect for the Tampa Bay region amid ongoing damaging winds, catastrophic flooding and storm surge.
Credit: Provided
This photo shows the extent of flooding caused by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Florida.

TAMPA, Fla. — Hurricane Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa, Florida, as an "extremely dangerous" Category 4 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center. 

The storm is causing catastrophic storm surge, winds and flooding over the Florida peninsula as it made landfall, the National Hurricane Center said.

The center of Ian is forecast to move over central Florida on Wednesday night and Thursday morning and emerge over the western Atlantic by late Thursday, the NHC says.

Hurricane and storm surge warnings remain in effect for the Tampa Bay region amid ongoing damaging winds, catastrophic flooding and storm surge.

10 Tampa Bay is keeping you ahead of the storm: Download our free mobile app for real-time storm information and breaking alerts, and download 10 Tampa Bay+ on your Fire TV or Roku devices to stream live coverage. 

We will have live updates throughout the day on Wednesday, Sept. 28.

12:18 p.m. Tampa city staff are working around the clock to monitor the storm along with deploying crews to clear debris and help with a smooth reentry for those who evacuated.

11:40 p.m. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office urges people to stay off the roadways until it's safe to do so. The agency has received several reports of downed power lines and trees. 

"For your safety, wait for authorities to give you the green light to travel," the sheriff's office tweeted.

11:01 p.m. More than 5,000 residents and visitors ride out Hurricane Ian at shelters in Manatee County. Officials say half arrived in the final three hours before the facilities were locked down.

10:44 p.m. A special response team from the North Port Police Department is heading out to evaluate damage after winds died down.

The agency asks residents to be patient and smart and to know help is coming.

10:47 p.m. Naples issues precautionary boil water notice for the entire drinking water service area including all of the city and also a portion of Collier County.

10:01 p.m. DeSantis says anyone who would like to volunteer as part of the Hurricane Ian recovery can sign up through an official volunteer portal with Volunteer Florida.

9 p.m. AT&T plans to not charge Floridians who are not currently subscribed to any of the company's unlimited plans if they go over talk, text and data limits. The waiver will be from Thursday, Sept. 28, until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 28.

8:48 p.m. The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office reports a TECO pole is down near the intersection of Valley Forge Boulevard and Sun City Center Boulevard. People are asked to use caution in the area.

8:05 p.m. Hardee County set a curfew that goes into effect starting from 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. Thursday. First responders and medical professionals commuting to and from work are exempt.

7:30 p.m. Extreme wind warning issued until 9:30 p.m. for DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands and Polk counties.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

7:27 p.m. Statewide, more than 1.6 million customers are without power as Hurricane Ian continues in its path through Florida.

6:46 p.m. Pinellas Park Police Department closes down U.S. Highway 19 in both directions between Ulmerton Road and 110th Avenue because of a large amount of construction debris.

6:43 p.m. TECO reports 189,968 customers are without power as Hurricane Ian continues its way throughout Florida.

6:38 p.m. President Joe Biden made separate calls to the mayors of Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Sarasota along with the chair of Charlotte County to let them know "their communities have the full force of the federal government behind them."

5:30 p.m.: An extreme wind warning has been issued until 7:30 p.m. for DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Manatee and Sarasota counties. The eyewall of Hurricane Ian is moving through now.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

5:21 p.m. Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority plans to resume all fixed route service starting on Saturday, Oct. 1.

5:15 p.m. U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor sent a letter to President Joe Biden along with other bipartisan Florida delegation members calling for a Major Disaster Declaration for Florida as Hurricane Ian made landfall.

4:35 p.m. Hurricane Ian made mainland landfall south of Punta Gorda as a Category 4 storm packing 145 mph winds.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

4:31 p.m. Hillsborough County canceled its scheduled Household Hazardous Waste event that was supposed to happen Saturday, Oct. 1. The cancellation is because of impacts from Hurricane Ian, county leaders explain.

3:32 p.m. Pasco County Utilities issued a precautionary boil water notice for customers in the Beacon Square subdivision in Holiday, east side of Columbus Drive and the west side of Rock Royal Drive between Moog Road and Beacon Square Drive.

Officials explain the water distribution system in this area lost pressure on Wednesday when a water main ruptured.

3:31 p.m. TECO confirmed 52,000 customers are without power. The company says it's aware of the outage map issues on the website and is trying to fix it.

3:18 p.m. Bay Pines VA Healthcare System is closing all locations for in-person and procedure appointments through Saturday, Oct. 1. 

This closure extended to the Emergency Department and areas such as the St. Petersburg Regional Office, MidFLorida Credit Union and the Bay Pines National Cemetery.

3:06 p.m. The Tampa Police Department urged residents off of Bayshore Boulevard to not venture out at this time for what they call "sightseeing."

Officers say they are seeing a growing number of people parking in the middle of the roadway on Bayshore Boulevard in South Tampa and walking down into the bay because of low tide pushing the water out.

"This is unsafe, as the water could return unexpectedly," the agency wrote.

3:05 p.m. NHC reports Hurricane Ian officially made landfall along the southwestern coast of Florida near Cayo Costa.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

2:50 p.m. U.S. Border Patrol agents said 23 migrants are missing after their boat sank off Stock Island, which is in the Florida Keys, due to "inclement weather" from Hurricane Ian. Border Patrol said four Cuban migrants were able to swim to shore. 

2:40 p.m. Damage reports are starting to come in as Hurricane Ian continues to near landfall. You can see our continued updates here.

RELATED: Hurricane Ian | Tracking the damage

1:50 p.m. "Three line breaks in the potable system have been reported," Manatee County officials tweeted. "Two have been repaired, and the additional one will be repaired as soon storm conditions improve. Also, approximately 15% of sewage lift stations are without power so customers are asked to limit flushing."

12: 59 p.m. City of Venice leaders said their first responders have to seek shelter due to sustained winds from Hurricane Ian reaching 45 mph. This means they won't be able to respond to 911 calls. Leaders say you can still call 911, but they will be put in a queue by dispatch. 

"As sustained winds in the Venice area have reached the 45 mph threshold, emergency services are required to seek shelter and are not able to respond to 911 calls. However, in the event you need 911, please still call, as these calls are put into a bank in the dispatch center."

12:50 p.m. Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the state has activated its disaster relief fund ahead of an impending landfall from Hurricane Ian. The fund is the "official private fund established to provide financial assistance to our communities as they respond to and recover from times of emergency or disaster." For more information, click here.

12:40 p.m. First responders in Sarasota have been pulled from the road after an extreme wind warning was issued, government leaders tweeted

"Winds from Center Road south have reached sustained speed of 45 miles per hour and first responders in this area have been pulled from the road for their safety. With weather conditions rapidly deteriorating, this area will be expanded north as winds increase."

12:04 p.m.: Extreme wind warning has been issued for Sarasota county through 2 p.m.

11:39 a.m.: Hardee, DeSoto and Highlands counties are under tornado warnings through 12:15 p.m. 

11:29 a.m.: More than 30,000 power outages have been reported throughout the Tampa Bay area as Ian moves on Florida's west coast. More than 26,000 of those outages have been reported in Manatee and Sarasota counties. 

11 a.m.: The Hillsborough Transit Authority (HART) has ceased fixed-route services. HART will not provide service in areas under mandatory evacuation until Hillsborough County lifts the order. 

Those not in an area under mandatory evacuation can request on-demand trips by calling (813) 254-4278. 

10:45 a.m.: The City of Venice said its utility department has "discontinued" potable water service to the island of Venice right now in order to "protect our infrastructure" as Hurricane Ian approaches. City officials say when Ian's wind speeds drop below 35 mph, utility staff will look for leaks in the system, make any necessary repairs and restore service when able. 

10:40 a.m.: "Manatee County is locked down," Manatee County Government tweeted. "All shelters and EOC have shut their doors in advance of Ian. First responders are also locking down as the storm moves over the area. Emergency response will not be available until the storm subsides."

10:38 a.m.: SunPass Customer Service Call Centers are closed. Customers can visit Sunpass.com for assistance. 

10:25 a.m.: Tampa International Airport said it will remain closed through Thursday. 

9:49 a.m.: Water recedes in Tampa Bay and Hillsborough Bay as Hurricane Ian draws closer.

9:21 a.m.: The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex announces it will be closed Wednesday and Thursday. 

9:08 a.m.: Hillsborough Avenue between 22nd and 30th Street has shut down due to a snapped power pole with a power line down in the roadway, according to the Tampa Police Department.

9:03 a.m.: The Florida Department of Health urged Polk County residents to minimize their water use during times of flooding or electrical outages. Conserving water, the health department says, will reduce the risk of causing sewage to back up into your home. 

8:28 a.m.: Clearwater residents may notice lower water pressure as the city has reduced drinking water service to Clearwater Beach. The water is safe to drink and the wastewater return station is still operating. 

7:06 a.m.: The Sunshine Skyway Bridge has been closed to all traffic, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.

6:45 a.m.: The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said, "Effective immediately, access to the barrier islands has been restored for those with a Barrier Island re-entry permit. The evacuation order is still in effect."

6:01 a.m.: Seminole Hard Rock Casino Tampa announced it will close at 8 a.m. Wednesday. The hotel is set to remain open with limited service for current guests.

5:23 a.m.: A tornado watch is in effect for Manatee, Polk, Sarasota and Highlands counties until 5 p.m.

5 a.m.: The National Hurricane Center found that Ian has strengthened into an "extremely dangerous Category 4 hurricane."

4:10 a.m.: More than 2,000 people are still without power in Manatee County. The Bradenton-area outages were first reported Tuesday night by the Peace River Electric Cooperative.

11:45 p.m. Tuesday: Gov. Ron DeSantis is set to give an update on Florida's preparations for Hurricane Ian at 7:30 a.m. at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee. 

According to the governor, 5,000 Florida Guardsmen have already been activated and pre-positioned at armories across the state to run response efforts. 

Before You Leave, Check This Out