Hurricane Ian strengthened overnight to a Category 4 storm with maximum winds at 155 mph – just shy of being a Category 5. The storm’s trajectory shifted a bit southward, with landfall expected in Fort Myers this afternoon. From there, the storm will slowly push through central Florida, not moving into the Atlantic until Friday morning. Because the storm will slow so much, expect heavy rain and flooding across central Florida.
AccuWeather has increased its projection of damage from Hurricane Ian, noting “there will be catastrophic, long-lasting impacts and widespread structural and tree damage.” Many fuel terminals are shut throughout Florida, meaning local deliveries have become challenging. Winds in excess of 35-40 mph make roads dangerous for fuel deliveries, requiring delays until the storm passes.
Once the storm passes over Florida, it is expected to turn and hit the coastline of Georgia and South Carolina as a tropical storm on Friday afternoon. Marine shipments of fuel to markets such as Savannah will be delayed due to strong winds.
Mansfield remains on Level 5 Alert as the hurricane approaches Florida. Markets are severely constrained, and in many places deliveries cannot be made safely. Mansfield has expanded the Code Blue area to cover central Florida, including Orlando and Jacksonville. In these areas, delivery ETAs are not available until the storm passes. The rest of Florida is on Code Red, requiring 72-hour notice for new deliveries.
Given the storm’s projected impact on the coastal areas of Georgia and South Carolina, Mansfield is moving those areas to Code Red also. The rest of the Georgia and Carolinas region remains on Code Orange, requiring 48-hour notice for new deliveries.