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WATCH LIVE | Ian just shy of a Category 5 hurricane as it nears Florida

Hurricane Ian rapidly intensified off Florida's southwest coast Wednesday morning, gaining top winds of 250 kph, just shy of the most dangerous Category 5 status. Damaging winds and rain lashed the state's heavily populated Gulf Coast, with the Naples to Sarasota region at 'highest risk' of a devastating storm surge.

This GOES-East GeoCcolor satellite image taken at 10:10 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, and provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Hurricane Ian over the Gulf of Mexico. (NOAA via AP)