Hurricane Ian Has Devastating Effects in Florida
(ConservativeHub.com) – Hurricane Ian has left a rising death toll, countless missing people, and a lack of electricity as the storm demolished lines and other infrastructure. The storm hit Lee County especially hard, with the area reporting the highest fatalities and the most significant destruction. But Floridians have stood up and begun the clean-up process, hoping to rebuild what they’ve lost.
Ian completely demolished homes and other buildings across the state. Concerns continue over flooding, causing evacuations in places where they don’t usually happen. A damaged sewer system in Orlando prompted conservation orders. The water remains high in some areas, making it difficult for crews and emergency personnel to access them.
Southwest Florida was the hardest hit. The storm almost wiped Fort Myers and Naples off the map. The sheer amount of destruction is making rescue work more difficult. There are no longer landmarks or street signs to use as guides, and many roads are in pieces or no longer exist. The hurricane severed access to outlying islands. Sanibel, Captiva, and Pine Islands are barely accessible and require helicopters, boats, and other means to reach survivors.
One of the biggest obstacles people continue to face in the state is a lack of electricity and cell service. On October 2, Governor Ron DeSantis (R) reported over 840,000 still had no power, but crews had restored connection for over 1.8 million customers. As of October 3, 95% of accounts had power restored. Some areas will require a complete rebuild of service and have no reported date of restoration.
The governor also reported on October 3 that he sent out more Starlink receivers to help with communications. These should help bring back cell service in harder-hit places, which will help with search and rescue efforts and coordinating disaster aid for citizens.
Loss of Life
The most devastating result of Ian is the lives lost, with the cause of death in most cases being drowning. The Florida death toll has been rapidly evolving over the last few days. However, the most recent reports put the death toll at over 100.
Reports suggest that many of those fatalities occurred in Lee County, where officials issued evacuation orders later than other areas. But this was due to the storm unexpectedly shifting at the last minute. Reports as of October 3 suggest there have been at least 54 deaths in the county.
Unfortunately, the death toll will likely grow. On October 2, the governor’s office reported 1,600 successful rescues, but many remain missing. The state has websites to report those still unaccounted for and for people to mark themselves safe to assist with efforts.
The clean-up process in Florida could be lengthy. Some reports have suggested Ian could be among the most expensive storms to recover from in the country’s history. The National Guard and groups from out of state continue to work on search and rescue efforts and getting necessities to those displaced by the storm. Various distribution centers are handing out food, water, and other supplies to those in need.
After leaving Florida, Ian continued on its path of destruction. It bashed North Carolina as a Category 1, taking at least five lives, and continued as a nor’easter, dropping heavy precipitation up the coastline and threatening to cause more floods.
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