Hurricane Iota now a dangerous Category 4 storm as it heads toward Central America


Hurricane Iota has strengthened into a dangerous Category 4 hurricane, according to the National Hurricane Center.

“Iota has continued to strengthen into a dangerous category 4 hurricane expected to bring potentially catastrophic winds, life-threatening storm surge, and extreme rainfall impacts to Central America,” explained the National Hurricane Center early Monday.

Shortly before 7 a.m. EST, the National Hurricane Center tweeted that U.S. Air Force hurricane hunters are almost at the hurricane’s core.

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Iota is approaching the same part of Central America battered by a similarly powerful Hurricane Eta just over a week ago.

File photo - Residents paddle a boat through a flooded street in the aftermath of Hurricane Eta in Planeta, Honduras, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020.

File photo – Residents paddle a boat through a flooded street in the aftermath of Hurricane Eta in Planeta, Honduras, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020.
(AP Photo/Delmer Martinez)

Evacuations were being conducted from low-lying areas in Nicaragua and Honduras near their shared border, which appeared to be Iota’s likely landfall. Winds and rain were already being felt on the Nicaraguan coast Sunday night. Forecasters warned it would probably reach the Central America mainland late Monday.

In a 7 a.m. note, the NHC explained the hurricane is about 20 miles northwest of Isla de Providencia in Colombia and about 145 miles southeast of Cabo Gracias a Dios on the Nicaragua/Honduras border. The hurricane has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph.

A hurricane warning is in effect for Providencia, the coast of Nicaragua from the Honduras/Nicaragua border to Sandy Bay Sirpi and the coast of northeastern Honduras from Punta Patuca to the Honduras/Nicaragua border.

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The Associated Press contributed to this article. Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

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