After Hurricane Ian tore Fort Myers’ famous pier from its hinges, Senator Marco Rubio said the historic beach ‘no longer existed’ and that Fort Myers had suffered irreparable damage.
The Florida official made a forceful statement as damage from the storm, which made landfall last week in Southwest Florida before moving over the central and upper areas of the state, is still being assessed by authorities.
Several people of Fort Myers, a coastal community that took the brunt of the storm, were left trapped by Ian as houses were devastated and ships were pushed onto the ground in feet of spilled floodwater.
The cherished couple of the city are now unrecognizably destroyed, and at least 81 deaths have been officially verified, many of them residents of the little Florida community.
Rubio, 51, described the scope of the damage on ABC’s This Week on Sunday morning, claiming that there is no “comparison” between the catastrophic hurricane and other hurricanes.
Rubio, a Republican from Florida, said of the most recent hurricane in relation to earlier ones, “I don’t believe it has a comparable, not in Florida.”
The former presidential contender would also say that, despite ongoing discussions about recovery efforts with Governor Ron DeSantis and federal authorities, Fort Myers’ beautiful beach is probably never going to be the same.
Rubio, a senator for the Sunshine State since 2011, said, “Fort Myers Beach no longer exists.”
He went on to say that the formerly beautiful metropolis had irreversible damage and would have to be restored.
Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Deanne Criswell, who is instrumental in the government’s cleaning and rescue activities, joined the senator for the remote interview.
The then-Category 4 hurricane left behind “a lot of wreckage,” Criswell said. On Florida’s west coast, there was significant damage where the hit occurred.
Rubio said in the interview that search-and-rescue activities are still going on in Fort Myers as well as other affected areas including Naples, Naples, and Orlando. He then emphasized that because of how bad the situation is, federal authorities have been collaborating closely with Gov. DeSantis.
While the Senator and the chief of FEMA indicated there was still a great deal of work to be done before the city even begins to resemble a semblance of its former self, Rubio noted on Sunday that those efforts had so far been effective.
Regarding the recovery effort, which will take time, Rubio said of FEMA, “They’ve all been excellent.” The politician said, “The government reaction has been quite good from day one.” And we are appreciative of it.
After taking over as administrator of FEMA last year, Criswell, a former head of disaster management for New York City, reaffirmed that she and Rubio were in constant touch with DeSantis about the cleaning.
As Criswell said to Karl, “I spent the whole day with Governor DeSantis on Friday and wanted to truly understand what his worries were and what resources he would need to assist support this.”
“I promised him that we will keep bringing in resources to meet the demands, not only for this response and the stabilization, but as they proceed into the recovery activities,” the statement reads.
Criswell claimed that state employees were not to blame for the storm’s likely billions of dollars in damages, claiming that the storm had been “unpredictable in the days leading up to landfall.” Criswell was asked if the agency had been off-target with forecast models prior to the storm or if local officials should have called for evacuations sooner.
The storm would later intensify over the course of a day, growing to become the state’s worst hurricane in 60 years.
Criswell said, “This is going to be a long road to recovery,” and Rubio nodded in agreement.
In order to ensure that no one is left behind, she said, authorities are presently “accounting for everyone who was in the storm’s path and that we go through every house.”
Water was pouring out of Tampa Bay as the storm reached Cayo Costa, a barrier island immediately west of the densely populated metropolis.
In the midst of six-foot flooding and 155 mph gusts, more than 2.6 million houses and businesses in Florida were left without electricity. Many of these structures were also uprooted from their foundations.
Streets became rivers, and residences, hospitals, and schools were all inundated by the storm surge, which also completely destroyed the city’s beachfront.
Officials are scrambling to address infrastructure damage and deaths as a result of Ian, a Category 4 hurricane that made landfall but dissipated after passing over the state’s center and the Atlantic. The state has already conducted more than 100 confirmed rescues of residents trapped in still-flooded areas.
Lee County authorities reported that the mayhem has also encouraged looting, which has led to the implementation of a countywide curfew that would effect more than 413,000 residents.
The reported instances flagrantly disregarded warnings from law enforcement officials throughout the county that “looting and violence” in the wake of the floods would “not be allowed.” on Thursday.
Officials are still evaluating the damage and fatalities caused by the now-passed natural calamity.
The public has been urged to use less water and to watch out for any suspicious neighbors, particularly any elderly people.
The president will visit Puerto Rico this week, together with the Initial Lady, to assess the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Fiona, which made their first landfall there before intensifying into a hurricane and making landfall in the US on Wednesday.
After that, they’ll go to Florida to evaluate the state’s recovery efforts.