Staff Writer: Kelsey Wink
On Wednesday, September 28th at 2:24 p.m. — Hurricane Ian made landfall in western Florida, causing panic and wreaking havoc as it destroyed buildings. It ripped trees from the ground, caused cars to float away, and flooded houses up to their roofs.
The storm first hit North Captiva Island, which is just west of Fort Myers and Cape Coral, as a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 155 miles per hour.
If the behemoth storm’s winds increased by just 2 miles per hour, it would have been considered a Category 5 hurricane and had the potential to be one of the most devastating to ever hit the US.
Hurricane strength is measured on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the scale ranges from Category 1 — which has 75 to 95 mph winds and can cause damage to home exteriors, trees, and power lines — all the way up to a “catastrophic” Category 5.
A Category 5 hurricane has winds of 157 mph or higher. Whereas less-strong hurricanes could tear shingles or pieces off of roofs, a Category 5 has a high risk of completely destroying homes, with total roof failure and wall collapse.
Only four Category 5 hurricanes have ever reached the continental US — Labor Day Hurricane (1935), Hurricane Camille (1969), Hurricane Andrew (1992), and Hurricane Michael (2018).
Hurricane Ian became very close to becoming the fifth Category 5 hurricane to devastate United States soil.
Ian already devastated Cuba, on September 27th, where large swaths of the island are without power after it rolled through the nation as a Category 3 storm, before strengthening over the Gulf Of Mexico before it hit Florida.
The storm moved at 9 miles per hour, and slowly made its way northeast across the Sunshine State, hitting cities like Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville, and including states such as North Carolina and South Carolina.
In the past week, at least 110 people, including 105 in Florida and 5 in North Carolina, have died and about ten thousand are still unaccounted for.
Hundreds of thousands of people remain without power and 1.7 million people have been driven from their homes.
Hurricane Ian has swept its way across the United States and has left a trail of destruction, sorrow, and flooding in its wake after slamming Florida and other states.
In other pressing matters, a wave of skepticism has been circulating throughout social networks and news media as to whether a shark has been spotted swimming in Florida’s Fort Myers backyard.
Hurricane Ian plowed through Florida bringing a long-running hoax about marine life swimming in suburban floodwaters to life. But now the viral video of a shark swimming in Fort Myers has been confirmed as original footage.
Racking up more than 13 million views on Twitter, the video showed a large, dark fish with sharp dorsal fins thrashing in the flood water, as users responded with disbelief, some dismissing it as fake.
The video was filmed by Dominic Cameratta, a local real estate developer. He confirmed shooting the clip from his back patio Wednesday morning when he saw something “flopping around” in his neighbor’s flooded yard. His video was then retweeted by Brad Habuda from Fort Myers and the viral sensation fish blew up across Twitter.
The trendy fish was quickly dubbed as a “street shark” as users compared it to the cult classic, Sharknado, a 2013 comedy disaster film in which sharks are lifted from the ocean following a waterspout and dropped in Los Angeles suburbs.
The identity of the marine animal is, however, yet to be confirmed, as experts had mixed opinions on whether it was a shark or a fish. It remains to be seen if the actual identity of the Sharknado fish will be unveiled.
As of now, Twitter users are left to wonder whether their cult classic movie has come to life or not.