Rescuers search Florida for Hurricane Ian survivors

Rescuers search Florida for Hurricane Ian survivors

As the remnants of one of the strongest and costliest hurricanes to ever hit the United States continued to push north, rescuers searched for survivors among the ruins of Florida’s flooded homes caused by Hurricane Ian. Authorities in South Carolina also began assessing damage from the hurricane’s impact there.

Throughout the majority of the week, millions of people were terrorized by the powerful storm, which ravaged western Cuba before sweeping across Florida from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, where it gathered sufficient strength to launch a final assault on South Carolina.

At least 28 individuals were killed by the storm.

More than 1.2 million homes and businesses remained without power in Florida as of Saturday morning, while hundreds of thousands more outages were reported in the Carolinas and Virginia.

People stuck in hurricane-ravaged parts of North Port, Florida await rescue crews on September 30, 2022. Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu Agency accessed through Getty Images

On Friday, distressed Floridians swam through knee-high water to salvage what they could from their flooded houses and load them onto rafts and canoes.

“I wish I could sit in the corner and weep. Stevie Scuderi stated, “I don’t know what else to do” after stumbling through her mostly wrecked Fort Myers residence with dirt clinging to her purple sandals.

In South Carolina, Ian’s center landed near Georgetown, a small village on Winyah Bay approximately 60 miles north of historic Charleston. Four piers along the coast, including two related to the renowned tourist destination of Myrtle Beach, were damaged by the hurricane.

When the storm impacted the state, its winds were far weaker than when Ian made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast earlier in the week. Authorities and volunteers were still inspecting the damage as citizens struggled to comprehend what they had just experienced.

People stuck in hurricane-ravaged parts of North Port, Florida await rescue crews on September 30, 2022. Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Anthony Rivera, age 25, stated that he had to climb through the window of his first-floor apartment to take his grandmother and girlfriend to the second story during the storm. As they scrambled to escape the rising water, the storm surge brought a boat directly up to his flat.

He said, “That is the scariest thing in the world because I cannot stop any boat.” “I’m not Superman.”

Despite the fact that Ian has long since passed over Florida, new problems continue to emerge. Friday night, a 14-mile stretch of Interstate 75 in the Port Charlotte area was stopped in both directions because to the large amount of water in the Myakka River.

According to the disaster modeling firm Karen Clark & Co., which often produces flash catastrophe estimates, Hurricane Ian has likely caused “far over $100 billion” in damage, including $63 billion in privately insured losses. If these estimates are accurate, Ian would be at least the fourth most expensive hurricane in U.S. history.

A view of the region at North Port, Florida, United States on September 30, 2022, following the passage of Hurricane Ian. Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu Agency accessed through Getty Images

Residents of the Country Club Ridge subdivision in North Point, Florida, waded across wet streets on Friday. John Chihil paddled a canoe and another small boat through ankle-deep water with solemnity.

“There is very little to feel. It’s a divine deed, you know?” he asked. The only thing one can do is pray and hope for a brighter tomorrow.

Ian, now a post-tropical storm, was forecast to hit northern North Carolina on Saturday morning before moving into Virginia and New York.

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