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Florida deaths rise to 47 as they struggle to recover from Ian

Fort Myers, Florida – Florida death toll rises sharply as rescuers evacuate fainted survivors on a large barrier island cut off by Hurricane Ian. Hundreds of thousands of people were still in the sweltering heat without electricity after a monster storm raged from the state’s southwest coast to Carolina.

Florida, where nearly 40 people were reported dead, was hit hardest by a Category 4 hurricane, one of the most powerful hurricanes to make landfall in the United States. Flooded roads and bridges to barrier islands were washed away, cell phone service was limited, and many people were left stranded without basic amenities such as water, electricity and internet.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Saturday that billionaire businessman Elon Musk has provided about 120 Starlink satellites to “help bridge some of the communication issues.” He said he does. Musk’s Starlink, his system of satellite-based internet created by SpaceX, provides fast connections.

The Florida power company was working to restore power. As of Sunday morning, about 850,000 homes and businesses were still without electricity, down from a peak of 2.67 million.

At least 54 deaths confirmed: 47 Florida, four in North Carolina and three in Cuba. The weakened storm was expected to move northward on Sunday, bringing rain to parts of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, according to the National Hurricane Center.

More than 1,000 people have been rescued from flooded areas on Florida’s southwest coast alone, Daniel Håkanson, a four-star general and head of the National Guard, told the Associated Press during a flight to Florida.

In Washington, the White House announced that President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will visit Florida on Wednesday.

Dean Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the federal government is focused on providing resources to needy victims in Florida.

She told Fox News Sunday that the federal government has begun pre-positioning “the largest amount of search and rescue assets that we believe have ever been installed.” Defense — To compensate for the state of Florida’s resources.

A bridge to Pine Island, the largest barrier island off the Florida Gulf Coast, was destroyed by a storm, making it accessible only by boat or plane. Volunteer group medical corps, who are in the middle of the day, asked residents if they wanted to evacuate.

Some flew out in helicopters, people portrayed fear I was trapped in my house as the water level kept rising.

“We were looking at the boats and the houses as the water kept hitting the houses. We saw everything fly away,” said Joe Comforti, holding back tears. He said he would not have succeeded had it not been for his wife, who suggested standing on the table to avoid the rising water. You can see how fast it moves when you are on the door. There is no way to survive it. ”

Flooding rivers can pose significant challenges to relief efforts and delivery of supplies. The Myakka River washed away Interstate 75, forcing the closure of the highway, which caused traffic congestion for some time, until officials said it might reopen late Saturday.

The swollen river is already at or nearing its summit, but levels aren’t expected to drop significantly for several days, said Tyler Fleming, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service.

Pawleys Island, South Carolina, a beach community about 115 kilometers up the coast from Charleston, was badly hit. At least half of the island remained without electricity on Saturday.

Eddie Wilder, who has been to Pawleys Island for more than 60 years, said it was “crazy” to see waves as high as 25 feet (7.6 meters) wash over the landmark pier near his home. Told.

“We saw it hit the pier and we saw the pier disappear,” he said. “We watched it collapse and we saw it drift with the American flag.”

Wilder’s home was 30 feet (9 meters) above the shoreline and was dry inside.

Storms knocked down trees and power lines in North Carolina. Two of his four deaths in the state were in storm-related vehicle crashes, one of his others was a man who drowned when his truck fell into a swamp, and a garage power generator. He died of carbon monoxide poisoning from the plane.

At the Port Sanibel Marina in Fort Myers, Florida, a storm surge pushed several boats and docks ashore. Charter captain Ryan Kane said his vessel was so badly damaged that he could not use it to rescue people until he could take customers fishing again. will take a long time.

“There’s a hole in the hull. We got water on the motor. We needed water for everything,” he said, adding, “You know, the boat should be in the water, not in the parking lot.” Added.

Lee County Authorities ordered residents to evacuate on Tuesday, a day later than other counties in the area.

Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson on Sunday defended Lee County officials against accusations that they were slow to issue evacuation orders ahead of the storm.

“Hurricane season warnings start in June, so there is a certain amount of personal responsibility here. That’s it,” Anderson said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

Separately, DeSantis on Friday noted that many projections have placed Ian’s landings north of Lee County, and once models began to concentrate in the county, authorities there acted appropriately. rice field.


Kinnaird reported from Pawleys Island, South Carolina. Associated Press contributors include Frida Frisaro of Miami. Brendan Farrington and Anthony Izaguirre of Tallahassee, Florida. Gerald Herbert of Pine Island, Florida. Mike Pesori of Lehigh Acres, Florida. Sarah Rankin of Richmond, Virginia. Amy Folliti of Minneapolis.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

https://www.local10.com/news/national/2022/10/02/florida-deaths-rise-to-47-amid-struggle-to-recover-from-ian/ Florida deaths rise to 47 as they struggle to recover from Ian

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