Frustration and Desperation Mount as Ian’s Effects Linger


Days after the skies cleared and the winds died down in Florida, Hurricane Ian’s effects continued Monday, as people faced one other week without power and others were being rescued from homes inundated with lingering floodwaters.

Ten additional deaths were blamed on the storm in Florida as frustration and desperation mounted in the trail the storm cut through state. And the hurricane’s remnants, now a nor’easter, weren’t done with the U.S.

The mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts were getting flooding rains. The storm’s onshore winds piled much more water into an already inundated Chesapeake Bay.

Norfolk and Virginia Beach declared states of emergency, although a shift in wind direction prevented potentially catastrophic levels Monday, said Cody Poche, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wakefield, Virginia

Coastal flooding temporarily shut down the one highway to a part of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and flooding was possible all of the solution to Long Island, the National Weather Service said.

No less than 78 people have been confirmed dead: 71 in Florida, 4 in North Carolina and three in Cuba since Ian made landfall on the Caribbean island on Sept. 27 and in Florida a day later.

Search and rescue efforts were still ongoing Monday in Florida. Greater than 1,600 people have been rescued statewide, in response to Florida’s emergency management agency.

Washed-out bridges to barrier islands, flooded roadways, spotty cellphone service and an absence of water, electricity or the web left tons of of 1000’s isolated. The situation in lots of areas wasn’t expected to enhance for several days because waterways were overflowing, leaving the rain that fell with nowhere to go.

In DeSoto County, northeast of Fort Myers, the Peace River and tributaries reached record high levels and boats were the one solution to get supplies to lots of the county’s 37,000 residents.

The county was prepared for strong winds after being hit by Hurricane Charley in 2004, however it was not prepared for therefore much rainfall, which amounted to a 12 months’s value of precipitation in two days, DeSoto County Commissioner J.C. Deriso said.

“This flood has been pretty catastrophic,” said Deriso, adding that officials hope to open one in every of the world’s principal highways by Tuesday.

Ian washed away bridges and roads to several barrier islands. About 130 Florida Department of Transportation trucks began work on constructing a brief bridge to Pine Island and by the tip of the week must be finished on a structure drivers can fastidiously traverse at slow speeds, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a news conference Monday afternoon.

The governor said an analogous temporary bridge is planned for nearby Sanibel, but it would take slightly more time.

“They were talking about running ferries and stuff,” DeSantis said. “And truthfully, you might have the opportunity to try this, but I believe that is a neater thing, and I believe people need their vehicles in any case.”

The primary two days without power at his Punta Gorda home weren’t bad because he, his wife and 4-year-old daughter wish to camp, Joe Gunn said.

But then they ran out of gas, Gunn said as he waited for an hour for $20 value of premium fuel from a Bonita Springs station, one in every of the few open in the world. The family then drove to get supplies and a hot meal.

Gunn was preparing for one more stressful night, fearful someone might attempt to steal his supplies. “I’m continually listening to the generator. It’s pitch black outside of the home,” he said.

Across southwest Florida, residents whose homes were overrun by the ocean or floods threw waterlogged mattresses, couches and other belongings into the road and tore out floors and cut into partitions, hoping to dry the shells of their houses before mold set in.

“All the things that got water is beginning to mold. We’re cutting all of the drywall out, 2 feet up, attempting to get things dried out to avoid wasting the home and to guard it from more damage,” said Jeff Rioux, thankful for several days of nice weather and generators to run fans.

Neighbors helped one another where they might.

“I lost all the things,” said Alice Pujols, crying as she picked through the heaps of castaway clothes at a stranger’s home. “I’m just in search of what I can salvage.”

About 520,000 homes and businesses in Florida were still without electricity Monday evening, down from a peak of two.6 million. But that remains to be nearly the identical amount of shoppers in all of Rhode Island.

Eric Silagy, Chairman and CEO of Florida Power & Light, said he understands the frustrations and emphasized that the utility’s crews are working to get power restored as soon as possible. The utility provider – the most important within the state – expects to have power restored to 95% of the service areas affected by Hurricane Ian by the tip of the day Friday, he said.

“If all goes well, we’ll have the opportunity to have all of our customers – the over 2 million that were impacted by this monster storm – essentially restored,” Silagy said.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden plan to go to Florida on Wednesday. The president was in Puerto Rico on Monday, promising to “rebuild all of it” after Hurricane Fiona knocked out all power to the island two weeks ago.

In Virginia, the U.S. Navy postponed the first-ever deployment of the united statesS. Gerald R. Ford, the nation’s most advanced aircraft carrier, in response to an announcement from the Navy’s 2nd Fleet. The carrier and other U.S. ships were scheduled to go away Norfolk on Monday for training exercises within the Atlantic Ocean with vessels from other NATO Countries.

After moving across Florida, Ian made one other landfall within the U.S. in South Carolina as a much weaker hurricane. Officials said Monday that crews were ending removing sand from coastal roads and nearly all power had been restored.


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