Hurricane Ian slams Florida with high winds, torrents of rain and devastating floods. A look at the Thursday's prime-time NFL matchup. And how a 6-year-old's marathon run sparked a major debate.
👋 Hey! Laura Davis here. It's Thursday, which means it's time for Thursday's news. Let's go.
☕️ But first: Good news, coffee lovers? Drinking two to three cups of joe a day might help you live longer and reduce your risk of heart disease, a new study suggests.
Hurricane Ian carves out path of destruction across Florida
As the sun came up in Florida on Thursday, those in Hurricane Ian's path tried to assess the damage, begin cleanup and cope with the effects of the fearsome storm. Ian roared ashore Wednesday in Southwest Florida with 150-mph maximum sustained winds – just 7 mph shy of a Category 5 hurricane, the strongest on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane scale. Homes, businesses and communities were washed away, streets turned to rivers and trees snapped like twigs. Catch up with our latest coverage.
Parts of Florida's Gulf Coast saw major damage: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the storm caused a "500-year flooding event" and said Coast Guard helicopters were plucking trapped residents from the roofs of homes. Communities across the state were or will be swamped by the overwhelming waters, he said.
Deaths reported: The destruction and upheaval left behind have made it difficult to get an accurate assessment of the loss of life, but there are already early reports of 13 deaths, and more are expected.
911 centers were inundated by thousands of stranded callers, some with life-threatening emergencies, officials said. More than 2.6 million Florida homes and businesses were without power early Thursday.
What they're saying: "The impacts of this storm are historic and the damage that has been done is historic," DeSantis said. "We've never seen a flood event like this, we've never seen a storm surge of this magnitude."
Voices from Florida
North Port woman watched through a peephole: "We’ve seen it flood, we’ve boated in and out before, but this is devastating," Elizabeth Hayes said.
Residents described the terror after a tornado tore through a condominium complex near Delray Beach on the Atlantic side of South Florida, ripping off roofs and turning over vehicles.
Biden: Ian could be 'deadliest hurricane in Florida's history.'
Here's how you can help those affected by Hurricane Ian in Florida.
Section of Sanibel Causeway crashes into sea
A section of the Sanibel Causeway collapsed into San Carlos Bay, cutting off access to the barrier island where 6,300 people normally live. A mandatory evacuation order had been issued ahead of the storm, but it was unclear how many people had stayed behind. See more photos here.
Ian's aftermath has widespread implications
Known for always being open, Waffle House said 35 locations were shut down due to the storm as of Thursday morning. Most Florida airports remain closed Thursday and numerous flights are canceled. Airports that are open are dealing with delays as well as cancellations.
📸 Homes underwater, boats piled up: Photos show Ian's destruction.
Hundreds of sea turtle eggs scattered across the beach after the storm.
Where did the water go? Why the water was sucked out of Tampa Bay.
'RIP Cam 9': As Fort Myers Beach floods, camera goes underwater – then viral.
👉 Where will Ian go next? The storm isn't done yet. After weakening to a tropical storm on its way out of Florida and into the Atlantic, Ian regained hurricane strength again Thursday afternoon. Forecasters said Ian is expected to make another landfall in South Carolina on Friday, walloping much of the southeastern U.S. with a nasty mix of rain, wind and storm surge over the next few days. The latest look at where the storm is headed.
What everyone's talking about
Were people actually eating chicken cooked in NyQuil?
Did these nursing homes place residents at risk to save $3 million a year?
'Rainbow fentanyl': Facts and myths about fentanyl, Narcan in schools.
Ten unbeaten college football teams still remain mysteries.
What Joe Biden's embarrassing memory lapse about Jackie Walorski really told us. | Opinion
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Should kids run marathons?
It didn’t take long for the online outrage to commence after 6-year-old Rainier Crawford crossed the finish line at the Flying Pig Marathon in Cincinnati with his family in tow. How did a first-grader end up racing that morning? It depends on who you ask. Marathon running is grueling, even for the most experienced of athletes – most of whom are fully developed adults committed to months of training. So it's no surprise that the story drew scrutiny. Should a child so young be allowed to run a marathon? Take a look inside the race that has polarized a community.
Thursday night football: Will the Dolphins stay perfect?
When the Miami Dolphins play the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night, it will be a case of game recognizing game, in more ways than one. The Dolphins are one of only two teams – the Philadelphia Eagles being the other – that are undefeated. The Bengals are the reigning AFC champions. And then there's the affinity Dolphins coach Mike McDaniel has for Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow's presence: "Coming off the bus, I see swag," he said Tuesday. How the teams match up.
🏈 NFL Week 4: Super Bowl 55 rematch, the season's first international game. See the matchups.
Death certificate confirms: Queen Elizabeth II died of old age.
Russia to formally annex areas of Ukraine forced into sham elections.
Woman charged with murder after running over man in dispute over cat.
Controversial lawmaker Marjorie Taylor Greene's husband files for divorce.
Ex-Indiana football player breaks into LSU locker room, says he's why LSU won 2019 title.
🌤 What's the weather up to in your neck of the woods? Check your local forecast here.
Here's what else is happening
🔎 Was it sabotage? After four leaks were discovered in two undersea pipelines that carry natural gas from Russia to Germany, NATO said sabotage is behind the damage, calling it "deliberate, reckless and irresponsible."
⚾️ After a week of sitting at 60 home runs, New York Yankees star Aaron Judge finally hit No. 61 on Wednesday night, tying Roger Maris for the single-season franchise and American League record.
🍿 Grab your popcorn for this movie review: Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker and Kathy Najimy return in Disney's "Hocus Pocus 2," an accursed sequel to the beloved 1993 cult classic that does the Sanderson sisters dirty. Read the review here.
✍️ Diversity is a matter of priority: There was a time, not all that long ago, when the Cincinnati Bengals were a team to emulate when it came to diversity. Now, they're part of the problem. | Opinion
A break from the news
🛍 Prime Day is on its way. How to shop the best deals before Black Friday.
🌄 The mountains are calling: Check out these 10 towns for a fall getaway.
☕️ Hocus pocus, help me focus: Game-changing coffee products for National Coffee Day.
Laura L. Davis is an Audience Editor at USA TODAY. Send her an email at email@example.com or follow along with her adventures – and misadventures – on Twitter. Support quality journalism like this? Subscribe to USA TODAY here.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Hurricane Ian, 'Hocus Pocus 2' review, Nyquil chicken, NFL, Aaron Judge. Thursday's news.