WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- Hurricane Ian continued to batter the Florida peninsula with catastrophic storm surges, winds, and flooding on Wednesday night, knocking nearly 2 million customers out of power.
Ian, which made landfall in southwestern Florida in the afternoon as a Category 4 hurricane, has now weakened with maximum sustained winds of 185 km per hour, according to the latest public advisory released by the U.S. National Hurricane Center.
The center of the storm is expected to move across central Florida Wednesday night and Thursday morning and emerge over the western Atlantic by late Thursday.
Ian is also forecast to turn northward on Friday and approach the northeastern Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina coasts.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis urged the state's residents to "be careful going outside."
"Make sure to avoid downed power lines, avoid standing water, stay clear of trees, do not drive in standing water and keep generators 20 feet outside of your home," DeSantis tweeted.
As of Wednesday night, nearly 2 million customers are without power in Florida due to the impact of the destructive storm, according to PowerOutage.us.