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23 missing after migrant boat sinks off Florida during Hurricane Ian, U.S. official says

A boat carrying migrants sank and left 23 people missing as Hurricane Ian lashed the Florida coast, U.S. Border Patrol said Wednesday. Four people on the boat were able to swim to shore, officials said.

“U.S. Border Patrol agents… responded to a migrant landing in Stock Island, Florida,” Miami Chief Patrol Agent Walter Slosar said on Twitter. “Four Cuban migrants swam to shore after their vessel sank due to inclement weather.”

The U.S. Coast Guard retweeted Slosar’s tweet, adding that it too is searching for the missing.

Ian’s “extremely dangerous” eyewall was moving onshore in southwest Florida late Wednesday morning, just hours after it grew into a Category 4 storm. It was packing sustained winds of 155 mph — making it just shy of a Category 5 hurricane, which is the most powerful storm possible.

Ian’s eyewall was moving onshore at Sanibel and Captiva islands and is forecast to make landfall Wednesday afternoon before moving over central Florida late Wednesday and Thursday, according to forecasters.

“Ian will cause catastrophic storm surge, winds, and flooding in the Florida peninsula soon,” the National Hurricane Center said in its 11 a.m. advisory. By early afternoon, hurricane conditions were spreading across parts of southwestern Florida, the center said. 

Cruise lines are canceling trips and rerouting ships because of the hurricane.  

Source: CBS Minnesota

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