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Hurricane Ian downgrades into Category 2 storm, moves across central Florida

Here's how things in north Georgia are being impacted.

ATLANTA — 11Alive StormTrackers are monitoring Hurricane Ian as it bears down on the coast of southwest Florida. It made landfall near Fort Myers. Significant, destructive impacts will be felt, forecasters said.

Rain and winds associated with Hurricane Ian are likely in north Georgia Friday and Saturday. >>This timeline breaks down the forecast for our area and what we know. 

11Alive will do extended live forecasts at 8 a.m., 11 a.m., and 2 p.m. on 11Alive.com, the 11Alive YouTube channel, 11Alive News mobile app and on the 11Alive+ streaming app on your Fire TV or Roku devices.

Get updates from Wednesday below as we track weather developments and community impacts. The timestamps are in EST.

RELATED: Here's how Hurricane Ian could impact north Georgia | Timeline and forecast

Wednesday updates 

10:05 p.m. | 11Alive's Chris Holcomb continues to track the path of Hurricane Ian. Here's the latest in Wednesday's 10 p.m. advisory. 

10 p.m. Here's a look at the new rainfall model data as of Wednesday night. 

9:11 p.m. | Hurricane Ian weakened into a Category 2 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center's special 9 p.m. advisory. As it moves across central Florida, the storm has triggered storm surge warnings off Georgia's coast.

8:10 p.m. | Georgia's coastline is under a storm surge warning Wednesday night as it braces for Hurricane Ian. Strong winds and rain were already seen in Tybee Island. 11Alive's Joe Ripley will be reporting on conditions as the storm moves closer to Georgia. Follow him on Twitter @JoeRipley11.

5:40 p.m. | Atlanta Public Schools announced that the district is either canceling or postponing all athletic events, field trips and after-school curricular activities that were scheduled this weekend due to taking "an abundance of caution" because of projected wind and rain stemming from Hurricane Ian. APS stated that they plan on resuming regularly scheduled school operations again on Monday.

"The safety, security, and well-being of APS students and employees is a top priority for the district. Please be on the lookout for detailed information from your principal and school community if your student was scheduled to participate in a district or school activity, or after-school program."

**Changes to Friday/Weekend Schedule Due to Hurricane Ian** APS continues to participate in National Weather Service...

Posted by Atlanta Public Schools on Wednesday, September 28, 2022

4 p.m. | Here's a look at NOAA Satellites' image of Hurricane Ian making landfall near Cayo Costa, Florida Wednesday afternoon. 

3:13 p.m. | Hurricane Ian makes landfall on the southwest coast of Florida as a Category 4 storm, just shy of a Category 5. Watch the update below:

LIVE: Cat 4 Hurricane Ian set to make landfall in Florida

BREAKING: NBC News Special Report: Cat 4 Hurricane Ian set to make landfall in Florida, bringing 155 mph winds and up to 16 feet of storm surge to some coastal areas. nbcnews.to/3dSfSof

Posted by NBC News on Wednesday, September 28, 2022

2:21 p.m. | Atlanta Humane Society's Animal Protection Unit evacuated 29 cats from a shelter in Englewood, Florida. The team in Aphararetta is working to make the felines feel more comfortable in their surroundings as the rescue works to answer calls from other shelter communities. People who would like to help can donate to their efforts

Credit: Atlanta Humane Society

2:15 p.m. | Atlanta Braves' spring training facility in southwest Florida is preparing for Hurricane Ian's impact. CoolToday Park is a staple in the city of North Port and is currently being used by Florida Power & Light as a staging area for its equipment, according to a spokesperson with the park.

"CoolToday Park was built to Florida hurricane standards and as a precaution we've taken down all flags, banners and scrims. We've also removed some things from the rooftop and have sandbagged any potential water entry areas. Our shatterproof windows have been boarded up as an extra precaution."

2:02 p.m. | Home Depot's Hurricane Command Center is up and running as it executes emergency operations in the wake of Hurricane Ian. 

According to the company, associates from Home Depot's merchandising, operations and supply chain teams are working to move truckloads of products to stores in Florida and Georgia. Emergency products such as generators, gas cans, extension cords, batteries and the like have been sent to stores in the expected impact area, a spokesperson said. 

12:45 p.m. | The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) is preparing for Hurricane Ian and it's impact on the state, including suspending work on I-16. GDOT said they have teams loaded with equipment and crews ready to respond if the hurricane turns into a severe weather event. They said that part of their plan to prepare includes the halting of all projects, including work on the I-16 interchange, according to a news release.

12:30 p.m. | Atlanta Motor Speedway is opening its campground for hurricane evacuees. Those interested in dry camping in the free First Turn Campground should enter the facility at Entrance "L". Whether approaching from GA Highway 19/41 or 1-75 and GA Highway 20, Entrance “L” will be accessed from Speedway Blvd. Upon entry the First Turn Campground will be on the right.

11 a.m. | We are bringing you the latest from the 11 a.m. National Hurricane Center advisory:

8:20 a.m. | Gov. Brian Kemp is touring GEMA headquarters. He said teams are deploying across the state and have the assistance of the Georgia National Guard. Watch the full statements here: 

8 a.m. | The storm continues to strengthen in the 8 a.m. advisory. Watch Chesley McNeil as he breaks things down and keeps an eye on the track.

RELATED: Hurricane Ian is now a high end Cat 4 | Forecast cone and models

Follow us throughout the day to stay ahead of the storm. Download the 11Alive News app for all the latest breaking updates, and sign up for our Speed Feed newsletter to get a rundown of the latest headlines across north Georgia. Also, Download 11Alive+ on your Fire TV or Roku devices to stream live coverage.



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