HURRICANE BLASTS THROUGH FLORIDA: One of the strongest storms ever to hit Florida moved across the state yesterday with high winds, heavy rains and storm surges. Hurricane Ian pounded the Gulf Coast in the afternoon, causing severe flooding and wind damage in Marco Island, Naples, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, and Cape Coral before swerving eastward toward Orlando. The hurricane lost strength as it moved over land, but Central and northeast Florida were expecting flooding from 12 to 18 inches of rain.
- North of the worst-hit region, the Tampa Bay-St. Petersburg area was inundated with rain, and wind gusts toppled trees and power lines. But the densely-populated metro area escaped even worse damage when the storm shifted east and headed inland at the last minute.
- More than two million residents of Florida had no electricity. Outages were reported all the way from the Everglades to Tampa.
- States of emergency were declared in South Carolina and North Carolina as Ian moved north.
- CHECK IT OUT: Hurricane Ian strikes Florida (below).
AMERICANS URGED TO LEAVE RUSSIA: The U.S. Embassy in Moscow has urged that U.S. citizens leave Russia immediately. The alert follows U.S. government warnings to Americans to avoid traveling to Russia or leave it immediately if they’re there now. The warning shows a particular concern for dual nationals. The embassy alert said: “Russia may refuse to acknowledge dual nationals’ U.S. citizenship, deny their access to U.S. consular assistance, prevent their departure from Russia, and conscript dual nationals for military service.” The repeated warnings follow turmoil in Russia after President Vladimir Putin announced a mobilization of Russian civilians to fight in Ukraine.
EUROPE SUSPECTS RUSSIA SABATOGED NORD STREAM PIPELINE: European officials suspect that Russia is behind three separate and simultaneous leaks in the Nord Stream pipeline that carries Russian natural gas to Europe. The leaks appeared to have been caused by underwater explosions, CNN reported. The Kremlin brushed off the accusation, calling it “predictably stupid and absurd.” Europe normally gets about 40 percent of its natural gas from Russia via the pipeline, but Russia stopped the flow of gas early this month, raising concerns about an energy crisis in Europe this winter.
6 INJURED IN OAKLAND CAMPUS SHOOTING: Six people were injured in a shooting at an East Oakland, California, school campus. Two of the victims were reported to have life-threatening gunshot wounds. The shooting occurred at a campus that houses four middle schools and high schools. One or more suspects are being sought.
(Headline News, FYI and Sports stories were compiled in part from reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.)