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The loss of life toll was rising and 1000’s of residents desperately sought rescue Thursday as traditionally extremely effective Hurricane Ian, now a tropical storm, hammered Florida with heavy rain and extremely effective winds, one in all many strongest methods in U.S. historic previous.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis acknowledged the storm induced a “500-yr flooding event” and acknowledged Coast Guard helicopters have been plucking trapped residents from the roofs of homes. Communities throughout the state have been or shall be swamped by the overwhelming waters, he acknowledged.
“The impacts of this storm are historic and the harm that has been accomplished is historic,” DeSantis acknowledged. “we have by no means seen a flood event like this, we have by no means seen a storm surge of this magnitude.”
a minimal of thirteen people have been reported lifeless in counties throughout the state, a quantity that is anticipated to rise. Sheriffs in southwest Florida acknowledged 911 facilities have been inundated by 1000’s of stranded callers, some with life-threatening emergencies. greater than 2.6 million Florida homes and enterprise have been with out power early Thursday.
Ian had weakened to a tropical storm however was forecast to proceed roaring throughout the state lots of the day earlier than heading out into the Atlantic. The storm flooded complete communities, leaving residents stranded of their homes after making landfall Wednesday with a hundred and fifty-mph most sustained winds – simply 7 mph shy of a class 5 hurricane, the strongest on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane scale.
The storm beforehand tore into Cuba, killing two people and bringing down your complete nation’s electrical grid.
►The U.S. Coast Guard was making an try to discover a gaggle of greater than 20 Cuban migrants after their boat sank in stormy climate shut to the Florida Keys. A U.S. Border Patrol agent tweeted that 9 have been rescued and that the search for the remaining continues.
►Ian’s power at landfall tied it for the fifth-strongest hurricane when measured by wind pace to strike the U.S. it is tied with 5 fully different hurricanes that reached a hundred and fifty mph — two in Florida, two in Louisiana and one in Texas.
►Waffle house, acknowledged for on an everyday basis being open, acknowledged 35 retailers have been shut down in consequence of storm as of Thursday morning.
►Residents described the terror after a twister tore by a condominium complicated shut to Delray seaside on the Atlantic side of South Florida, ripping off roofs and turning over automobiles. “I felt issues blow previous my head and face,” resident Jim Travis acknowledged. “as quickly as I opened the door, my condominium was destroyed.” be taught extra.
GET textual content material UPDATES: be a part of right here for textual content material updates on Hurricane Ian.
HURRICANE IAN TRACKER: the place is Ian headed? See the map.
IAN FORECAST: Ian extra probably to spend days dumping rain on Florida. right here is the outlook.
The destruction and upheaval left behind by Ian has made it troublesome to get an appropriate evaluation of the scarcity of life, however there are already early studies of thirteen deaths, and extra are anticipated.
Charlotte County Commissioner Chris Constance instructed CNN Thursday afternoon there have been six confirmed fatalities inside the county, which is simply north of Fort Myers.
additionally talking to CNN, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno acknowledged a minimal of six deaths have been confirmed in his county, which incorporates Cayo Costa — the island shut to Cape Coral the place the storm made landfall Wednesday.
And a seventy two-yr-previous man in Deltona, about 30 miles northeast of Orlando, died after falling proper into a canal whereas using a hose to empty his pool inside the heavy rain, the Volusia County Sheriff’s office acknowledged.
Constance acknowledged 4 shelters in his county needed to be evacuated as a consequence of structural harm, and lots of roads have been impassable as a consequence of downed power strains or flooding.
“it is the largest disaster i’ve ever seen in my lifetime,” acknowledged Constance, talking from Broward County in South Florida, the place he traveled forward of the storm. “that is unprecedented and that i used to be in Punta Gorda by Hurricane Charley (in 2004). whereas that was devastating, that is a complete bunch larger, is affecting so many extra people.”
Elizabeth Hayes watched the whole thing of Hurricane Ian go over her house in North Port, 50 miles northwest of Fort Myers, by a peephole in her shutters. The longtime resident says she was not ready for the devastating flooding – and she or he is aware of extra floodwater is on its means. She acknowledged solely the roof of her shed inside the yard is above water. North Port residents are using small boats, kayaks and paddle boards to look at homes that flooded alongside the Myakkahatchee Creek on Thursday morning.
“We’ve seen it flood, we’ve boated out and in earlier than, however that is devastating,” Hayes acknowledged.
Most Florida airports stay closed Thursday and pretty a quantity of flights are canceled. Airports which is extra probably to be open are dealing with delays as effectively as to cancellations.
almost 2,000 U.S. flights have been canceled Thursday, and the biggest numbers have been throughout Florida, in maintaining with Flight conscious, which tracks flight standing in exact time. journey by elements of Georgia and the Carolinas was additionally impacted as a outcome of the storm moved north. Tampa worldwide Airport officers tweeted that harm assessments have been underway.
“we’re carefully coordinating our reopening with the FAA, TSA, airways, and fully different companions primarily based on roadway safety, facility readiness, and required staffing,” the submit acknowledged. “We hope to have an replace on reopening plans later in the present day.”
– Eve Chen, USA in the present day
a bit of the Sanibel Causeway collapsed into San Carlos Bay, reducing off entry to the barrier island the place 6,300 people usually dwell. a obligatory evacuation order had been issued for the island forward of the storm nonetheless it was not clear what quantity of people had stayed behind.
DeSantis acknowledged Thursday morning that greater than a hundred engineers in pairs of two will work to evaluate the bridges alongside the west coast of Florida.
President Joe Biden issued a disaster declaration to make federal funding out there to affected residents inside the Florida counties of Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota. DeSantis acknowledged he would ask that the declaration be expanded as extra counties report crippling harm from Ian.
assist can embrace grants for short-term housing and residential repairs, low-price loans to cowl uninsured property losses, and fully different purposes to assist residents and enterprise house owners get greater from the outcomes of the disaster. Federal funding is additionally obtainable for particles eradicating.
Biden acknowledged his administration was “persevering with to take swift movement to assist the households of Florida. … i would like the people of Florida to know that we’ll be right here at every step of the means all by which.”
After 1000’s of people evacuated earlier this week, getting ready for all times-threatening storm surge, residents in St. Petersburg awoke Thursday to minimal harm.
Police directed site visitors at intersections with damaged site visitors lights. Some timber had fallen, blocking roadways and taking down power strains. In Coquina Key, an island neighborhood south of downtown, a Norfolk Island pine had snapped in half, its branches scattered in a yard. close by, Dale Fredrick used a chainsaw to reduce branches of one other downed tree blocking a roadway.
“It obtained’t take prolonged,” Fredrick, fifty eight, acknowledged. “simply little by little.”
As now Tropical Storm Ian continues to maneuver throughout Florida on Thursday, USA in the present day’s Hurricane Ian tracker will stay awake so far and current the latest have a look at the place the storm is headed.
Lee County sheriff fears ‘a complete bunch’ may probably be lifeless however DeSantis says nothing ‘confirme
The hurricane’s center made landfall as a class 4 hurricane Wednesday afternoon shut to Cayo Costa, a barrier island simply west of closely populated Fort Myers in Lee County.
“whereas I even have by no means bought confirmed numbers, I positively know the fatalities are inside the a complete bunch,” Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno acknowledged on ABC-tv’s “Good Morning America.” “there are 1000’s and 1000’s of people which is extra probably to be ready to be rescued.”
Pressed on the numbers, Marceno acknowledged “so far confirmed inside the a complete bunch. which means that we’re responding to occasions, drownings. as quickly as extra, not sure of the exact particulars as a outcome of we’re simply starting to scratch the floor on this evaluation.”
Gov. DeSantis tried to downplay the sheriff’s evaluation, telling ABC’s Good Morning America these numbers weren’t verified.
“None of that is confirmed,” DeSantis acknowledged at a morning briefing on the state’s Emergency Operations center in Tallahassee. “What that is, there have been 911 calls from people of their homes saying, ‘hey, the water is rising. I’m going to go up inside the attic. however I’m actually anxious.’”
“really, these people now are going to be checked on,” DeSantis acknowledged. “ i really feel you’ll have extra readability about that inside the following day or so, as (rescuers) are ready to go to these areas and decide whether or not people want providers.”
greater than 2.5 million homes and companies throughout Florida have been with out power early Thursday, in maintaining with PowerOutage.us. lots of the homes and companies in 12 counties have been with out power, although authorities acknowledged they have been making progress, that power had been restored to 500,000.
DeSantis acknowledged the flexibility grids in Lee and Charlotte counties will probably ought to be rebuilt.
“Lee and Charlotte are primarily off the grid at this level,” DeSantis acknowledged. “that is going to be greater than merely connecting an affect line again to a pole,” he acknowledged.
Meteorologists with the nationwide Hurricane center acknowledged Ian will roll off of Florida’s east coast, flip northwest and would possibly strengthen to hurricane standing as quickly as extra earlier than making landfall as quickly as extra in South Carolina. The governors of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia all preemptively declared states of emergency.
“State companies are working collectively and getting ready for Hurricane Ian’s potential influence,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster acknowledged on Twitter. “every South Carolinian ought to do the identical – take the time now to make a plan for every contingency.”
elements of Florida’s Gulf Coast noticed major harm as Hurricane Ian swept by the state, damaging buildings and homes and flooding communities.
Water coursed by the streets of Naples, creating huge waves that made roads impassable and flooded the metropolis’s hearth division. A video posted by Naples hearth-Rescue confirmed crews working to salvage devices and firetrucks in further than three ft of water. In Cape Coral, about 30 miles up the coast, pictures confirmed a sailboat washed up inside the course of a avenue shut to homes.
close by Fort Myers noticed intense storm surge flooding coastal communities and the realm round WINK information, an space CBS affiliate. movies confirmed water reaching car windshields inside the studio’s car parking zone and a quantity of the storm surge leaking into the constructing.
Farther north alongside the coast, intense storm surge flooded a hospital’s decrease stage emergency room in Port Charlotte, whereas fierce winds ripped away a component of the roof from its intensive care unit, in maintaining with a doctor who works there.
what’s STORM SURGE?Explaining a hurricane’s deadliest and most dangerous menace
Water gushed down from above onto the ICU, forcing workers to evacuate the hospital’s sickest sufferers – a quantity of of whom have been on ventilators – to fully different flooring, acknowledged Dr. Birgit Bodine of HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital. workers members used towels and plastic bins to try to mop up the sodden mess.
officers warned flash floods have been doable throughout the state, which may lead to air pollution and radioactive waste overflow.
SAFFIR-SIMPSON WIND pace SCALE:Breaking down wind pace scale for hurricanes.
HOW DOES HURRICANE IAN evaluate:class 5 hurricanes are unusual. Is Ian’s punch the worst U.S. has seen?
Contributing: Kate Cimini, USA in the present day community-Florida; Jesus Medoza and Kathryn Varn, Sarasota Herald-Tribune; associated Press