An epic catastrophe is imminent: Major Hurricane Iota is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir Simpson wind scale and continues to gain strength as it approaches Central America –an area devastated by Major Hurricane Eta less than 2 weeks ago.
With maximum sustained winds of 160 mph, and expected to intensify further into at least a 165 mph storm, Iota is the latest Atlantic calendar year Category 5 hurricane on record. Iota broke the record set by the Cuba Hurricane of 1932. It is also the first time a letter from the Greek alphabet was used for a Category 5 hurricane.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Iota is expected to remain a catastrophic category 5 hurricane when it approaches the coast of Nicaragua tonight. Extreme winds and a life-threatening 15-20′ storm surge are expected along portions of the coast of northeastern Nicaragua, where a hurricane warning is in effect.
Through Thursday, heavy rainfall from Iota will likely lead to life-threatening flash flooding and river flooding across portions of Central America. Flooding and mudslides in Honduras and Nicaragua could be exacerbated by Hurricane Eta’s recent effects there, resulting in significant to potentially catastrophic impacts. An additional 10-20″ of rain is expected in Central America; this is on top 20-30″ of rain that fell from Hurricane Eta less than 2 weeks ago and in addition to several inches of rain that have fallen on the region in recent days.