Hurricane Ian left a path of destruction in southwest Florida, trapping people in flooded homes, damaging the roof of a hospital intensive care unit and knocking out power to 2 million people earlier than aiming for the Atlantic Coast.
actually one of many strongest hurricanes to ever hit the us barrelled throughout the Florida peninsula in a single day Wednesday, threatening catastrophic flooding inland, the nationwide Hurricane coronary heart warned.
In Port Charlotte, alongside Florida’s Gulf Coast, the storm surge flooded a decrease-diploma emergency room in a hospital whilst fierce winds ripped away an factor of the roof from its intensive care unit, in accordance with a well being care supplier who works there.
Water gushed down onto the ICU, forcing workers to evacuate the hospital’s sickest sufferers — a pair of of whom had been on ventilators — to completely different flooring, acknowledged Dr. Birgit Bodine of HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital. workers members used towels and plastic bins to purpose to mop up the sodden mess.
The medium-sized hospital spans 4 flooring, however sufferers had been compelled into simply two attributable to the harm. Bodine deliberate to spend the night there in case people injured from the storm arrive needing assist.
“as prolonged as our sufferers do okay and no particular person finally ends up dying or having a nasty end result, that is what issues,” Bodine acknowledged.
regulation enforcement officers in close by Fort Myers obtained calls from people trapped in flooded homes or from frightened relations. Pleas had been additionally posted on social media websites, some with video exhibiting particles-lined water sloshing in the direction of homes’ eaves.
‘solely method out is on a ship’
Brittany Hailer, a journalist in Pittsburgh, contacted rescuers about her mom in North Fort Myers, whose residence was swamped by 1.5 metres of water.
“we do not know when the water’s going to go down. we do not understand how they may depart, their vehicles are totalled,” Hailer acknowledged. “Her solely method out is on a ship.”
Hurricane Ian turned streets into rivers and blew down bushes as a end result of it slammed into southwest Florida on Wednesday with 241 km/h winds, pushing a wall of storm surge. Ian’s power at landfall was class 4 and tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane, when measured by wind velocity, to ever strike the U.S.
Ian dropped in power by late Wednesday to class 1 with a hundred and forty 4 km/h winds as a end result of it moved overland. nonetheless, storm surges as extreme as two metres had been anticipated on the completely different side of the state, in northeast Florida, on Thursday.
Migrant boat from Cuba sinks
And hurricane-drive winds had been anticipated throughout central Florida by early Thursday with widespread, catastrophic flooding probably, the Miami-primarily based hurricane centre acknowledged.
No deaths had been reported inside the us from Ian by late Wednesday. however a ship carrying Cuban migrants sank Wednesday in stormy climate east of Key West.
The U.S. Coast Guard initiated a search and rescue mission for 23 people and managed to get your hands on three survivors about three kilometres south of the Florida Keys, officers acknowledged. 4 completely different Cubans swam to inventory Island, simply east of Key West, the U.S. Border Patrol acknowledged. Air crews continued to hunt for probably 20 remaining migrants.
The storm beforehand tore into Cuba, killing two people and bringing down the nation’s electrical grid.
The hurricane’s eye made landfall shut to Cayo Costa, a barrier island simply west of closely populated Fort Myers. as a end result of it approached, water drained from Tampa Bay.
larger than 2 million Florida homes and companies had been left with out electricity, in accordance with the PowerOutage.us web site. virtually every residence and enterprise in three counties was with out power.
Sheriff Bull Prummell of Charlotte County, simply north of Fort Myers, introduced a curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. “for all times-saving features,” saying violators may face second-diploma misdemeanor prices.
“i am enacting this curfew as a method of defending the people and property of Charlotte County,” Prummell acknowledged.
The climate Underground predicted the storm would go shut to Daytona seashore and go into the Atlantic earlier than veering again ashore in South Carolina on Friday.
The governors of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia all pre-emptively declared states of emergency. Forecasters predicted Ian will flip in the direction of these states as a tropical storm, probably dumping extra flooding rains into the weekend.