Status: 09/30/2022 03:57 am
Millions of people in Florida are still without electricity, many trapped by floodwaters. Hurricane Ian could be the deadliest storm in state history, US President Biden said. He has since moved north.
US President Joe Biden has called Hurricane Ian one of the deadliest storms in Florida state history. “The numbers are still unclear, but we are hearing the first reports of a potentially significant loss of life,” said Biden during a visit to the US Civil Protection Agency FEMA. He warned that the situation remained dangerous. “We continue to experience deadly rains, catastrophic storm surges, flooded streets and homes,” he said.
The hurricane swept across the Gulf Coast of Florida on Wednesday with wind speeds of around 240 kilometers per hour and left a path of destruction in its wake. Boats were washed ashore, houses were swept away and torrential rains caused flooding. The storm disrupted power to more than 2.6 million homes. “Ian” is already considered one of the strongest storms ever to hit the United States mainland.
The rescue efforts are in full swing
In Florida, rescue workers are now searching for people trapped in their flooded homes. According to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, 28 helicopters are used for this reason. In addition, more than 175 emergency shelters have been set up. In more than 700 cases, people in need have been rescued, the governor said.
On Sanibel Island, the bridge connecting it to the mainland was destroyed. Authorities warned residents of flooded areas about dangers in the water such as pollutants from the sewage system, chemicals – or even alligators. Broken electricity and gas lines could also cost lives. Helicopter footage showed burning houses between flooded streets or properties from which the buildings were completely washed away. In Fort Meyer, heavy concrete blocks landed from a pier between apartment buildings.
Deaths and devastation after hurricane “Ian” in Florida
Torben Börgers, ARD Washington, night magazine 00:37, September 30, 2022
The extent of the damage is still unclear
FEMA Director Deanne Criswell said, “Hurricane ‘Ian’ will be a storm that we’ll be talking about for decades to come.” The next few days would be difficult, there are many complex problems to be solved in the operations in the storm area. There is still no precise assessment of the damage. “But it will be catastrophic.” Your authority is preparing for the fact that thousands of families will not be able to return to their homes and will need temporary accommodation.
Carmine Marceno, the sheriff of Lee County, one of the hardest-hit regions on Florida’s southwest coast, told CNN that thousands of emergency calls were received in the county overnight. However, some areas are not yet accessible to rescue workers. “We were hit very, very hard.”
Hurricane Ian is regaining strength
The hurricane has since moved north. On its way from Florida to South Carolina it regained strength over the Atlantic. With sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour, “Ian” became a level one of five hurricane again as it made its way towards the coast of the state of South Carolina, according to the US Hurricane Center. It had previously been downgraded to a tropical storm. The US hurricane center also warned of dangerous storm surges in the states of North Carolina and Georgia.