Waves batter Fort Myers, Florida as Hurricane Ian strikes

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Hurricane Ian plowed into Florida’s Gulf Coast with catastrophic force on Wednesday, unleashing howling winds, torrential rains and a treacherous surge of ocean surf that made it one of the most powerful US storms in recent years.

In Fort Myers, Florida, high waves could be seen and water rushed ashore near riverfront homes.

Ian came ashore as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of up to 150 miles per hour (241 kph) and quickly transformed an idyllic stretch of sandy beaches and coastal towns into a disaster zone inundated by seawater.