Five days after Hurricane Ian struck the west coast of Florida as a strong Category 4 storm and then continued up the East Coast, more than 100 fatalities have been confirmed in Florida and North Carolina. The number of fatalities in Florida increased to at least 99 as of Monday night, according to Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno, who also reported that 54 dead have now been confirmed in that county.
Because county officials may acknowledge deaths more rapidly than state officials, the CBS News total is greater than Florida’s official state statistic.
North Carolina has reported four storm-related fatalities, raising the total in the United States to at least 103.
The storm killed at least three people in Cuba before making landfall in Florida, where it also caused widespread power outages.
The threats lingered and in some places, even got worse days after Ian wreaked havoc from Florida to the Carolinas. It was obvious that the road to recovery after this enormous storm would be difficult and drawn out.
And Ian wasn’t finished yet. Authorities issued a significant flood warning Monday after the storm drenched Virginia with rain on Sunday.
According to National Weather Service meteorologist Cody Poche, Ian’s remnants moved offshore and formed a nor’easter, which was forecast to dump even more water into the already overflowed Chesapeake Bay and pose a threat of causing the most significant tidal flooding event in Virginia’s Hampton Roads region in the previous 10 to 15 years. States of emergency were declared in Norfolk and Virginia Beach.
There may be higher tides than typical along other stretches of the Atlantic coast. Virginia’s island community of Chincoteague issued a state of emergency on Sunday and urged people in some sections to leave. The Northern Outer Banks of North Carolina and the Eastern Shore were also anticipated to be affected.
Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, stated that as the death toll increased, the federal government was prepared to provide massive assistance, focusing initially on those in Florida who were hardest hit by one of the strongest storms to hit the United States. The state will be visited by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden on Wednesday.
Many individuals became isolated due to flooded roads, washed-out bridges to barrier islands, poor cellphone reception, and a lack of basic services like internet, electricity, and water. The situation in many locations is not anticipated to improve for several days, according to officials, as streams are overflowing and the rain that has fallen has nowhere to go.
In Florida, there were still about 600,000 houses and businesses without electricity as of Monday morning, down from a peak of 2.6 million.
According to Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie, the current objective is to restore power by Sunday to customers whose power lines and other electrical equipment are still in good condition. It excludes dwellings and locations where infrastructure has to be restored.
According to Florida’s emergency management organization, more than 1,600 individuals had been saved statewide.
Rescue operations were still going on, especially to barrier islands cut off from the mainland by storm surges near Fort Myers in southwest Florida.
Ron DeSantis, the governor of Pine Island, Florida, announced on Sunday that the state will construct a temporary traffic lane for the larger one and that funding had been approved for the Department of Transportation to construct it this week.
“It’s not going to be a full bridge, you’re going to have to go over it probably at 5 miles an hour or something, but it’ll at least let people get in and off the island with their vehicles,” the governor said at a news conference.
According to a statement from the Navy’s 2nd Fleet, the U.S. Navy postponed the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford’s first-ever deployment to Virginia, the country’s most sophisticated aircraft carrier. On Monday, the carrier and other American ships were supposed to depart Norfolk for training drills with ships from other NATO nations in the Atlantic Ocean.
Over the past few days, workers from the Coast Guard, local governments, and private companies have used Jet Skis, boats, and even helicopters to rescue residents.
Residents of rural Seminole County, which is located north of Orlando, put on waders, boots, and bug spray on Sunday in order to paddle to their flooded homes.
After kayaking around Lake Harney, Ben Bertat discovered 4 inches of water inside his home.
“I think it’s going to get worse because all of this water has to get to the lake,” said Bertat, pointing to the water flooding a nearby road. “With ground saturation, all this swamp is full and it just can’t take any more water. It doesn’t look like it’s getting any lower.”