CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Hurricane Ian is expected to make landfall on the west coast of Florida Wednesday afternoon as a major Category 4 hurricane.

One of the major issues with Hurricane Ian is the storm surge. Storm surge occurs when strong winds push the water inland. The stronger the winds the higher the storm surge and that’s what we’re seeing with Hurricane Ian with storm surge between 6 and 12 feet.

When there is a storm surge of 3 feet, it is mainly minor flooding. Once it gets up to 6 feet that flooding does start to make its way into homes, and when the storm surge is 12 feet or more, buildings are almost completely under water which may be seen with the storm surge associated with Hurricane Ian.

Track Hurricane Ian

Formation of Hurricane Ian can cause catastrophic damage

Hurricanes can range in categories from 1 to 5. Category 5 hurricanes are the strongest with winds of 157 mph or more.

  • Category 1 Hurricane: Winds of 74 to 95 mph and will produce some damage.
  • Category 2 Hurricane: Winds of 96 to 110 mph and is extremely dangerous and will cause extensive damage.
  • Category 3 Hurricane: Winds of 111 to 129 mph and will cause devastating damage.
  • Category 4 Hurricane: Winds of 130 to 156 mph and will cause catastrophic damage.
  • Category 5 Hurricane: Winds of 157 mph and higher and will also cause catastrophic damage with most areas being uninhabitable for weeks or months.

The 22News Storm Team is tracking a dry weekend and Hurricane Ian stays down to our south.