As the remnants of one of the most powerful and expensive hurricanes to ever strike the United States continued to push northward, rescue workers searched through the wreckage of flooded homes in Florida for people who might have survived Hurricane Ian. Meanwhile, in South Carolina, authorities waited for daylight to assess the damage caused by the hurricane’s strike there.
The powerful storm caused widespread panic and fear for millions of people for the better part of a week, first wreaking havoc in western Cuba and then sweeping across Florida from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, where it gathered enough energy to launch a final assault on South Carolina. It was anticipated that Ian, which has already transitioned into a post-tropical cyclone, will travel across central North Carolina on Saturday morning and then make its way to south-central Virginia by afternoon.
At least 30 persons have been identified as having passed away as a direct result of the hurricane and its aftermath, including 27 people in Florida, the majority of whom died from drowning. According to the authorities, an elderly couple passed away after their oxygen devices stopped working because they had lost power.
At the same time, distressed locals could be seen wading through water up to their thighs on Friday as they attempted to retrieve whatever belongings they could from their flooded homes and put them onto rafts and canoes.
“I just want to go to the back of the room and cry. After making her way through her mostly ruined apartment in Fort Myers, Stevie Scuderi said, “I don’t know what else to do.” The mud in her kitchen was clinging to her purple sandals as she walked through the space.
In the state of South Carolina, Ian’s center washed up on the coast close to Georgetown, which is a little community located along Winyah Bay around 60 miles (95 kilometers) north of historic Charleston. The hurricane washed away sections of four piers that were located along the shore, including two that were connected to the well-known vacation destination of Myrtle Beach.
When Hurricane Ian made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast earlier this week, the storm’s winds were far stronger than they were on Friday. As neighbors struggled to make sense of what they had just been through, authorities and volunteers were still doing damage assessments in the area.
Anthony Rivera, 25, stated that in order to get his grandmother and girlfriend to the second story of their apartment during the storm, he had to climb through the window of the first floor apartment that he lived in. As they scrambled to get away from the rising water, a boat was carried ashore and brought to a stop exactly next to his flat by the storm surge.
He said, “That is the scariest thing in the world since I can’t stop any boat.” “I’m not Superman.”
Even though Ian has moved on and Florida is no longer in his path, new challenges have continued to crop up. Because of the tremendous amount of water that was rising in the Myakka River, a section of Interstate 75 that was approximately 14 miles (22 kilometers) long and located in the Port Charlotte region was closed late on Friday in both directions.
As rescue efforts and assessments of damage continue, the authorities warn that the number of fatalities could climb.
The number of confirmed fatalities continued to rise throughout the day on Friday, despite the fact that authorities warned that the figure was expected to soar much higher after teams completed a more thorough assessment of the damage. Kevin Guthrie, the director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, stated that the searches were conducted with the goal of performing emergency rescues and first evaluations. He provided an example by describing a house that had been submerged.
“The water was up over the rooftop, correct, but we had a Coast Guard rescue swimmer swim down into it, and he was able to identify that it appeared to be human remains,” you said. According to Guthrie, “we do not know exactly how many.”
Among the deceased was a 68-year-old woman who was carried away by a wave and a 67-year-old man who drowned after falling into rising water inside his home while waiting for aid.
In addition, authorities stated that a lady, age 22, passed away as a result of an ATV rollover caused by a road washout, and that a man, age 71, died as a result of a fall from a rooftop when he was installing rain shutters. In the early part of this week, Cuba reported the deaths of three more people.
According to the disaster modeling firm Karen Clark & Co., which regularly issues flash catastrophe estimates, Hurricane Ian most likely caused “well over $100 billion” in damage, with $63 billion coming from privately insured losses. These estimates are part of the firm’s regular practice of issuing flash catastrophe estimates. If those estimates are accurate, then Hurricane Ian would be at least the fourth costliest storm in the annals of United States history.
On Friday, residents of the Country Club Ridge subdivision in North Point, Florida, a suburb of Sarasota, had to wade through streets that were flooded with water. John Chihil moved deliberately while pulling a canoe and another small boat through the water that was about ankle-deep.
“There isn’t that much to feel, to be honest. He explained, “It’s an act of God, if you know what I mean.” I mean, at this point, all you can do is pray and hope for a better day tomorrow. There’s nothing else you can do.