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Hurricane Ian recovery efforts underway in Florida and South Carolina


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Floral systems are still dealing with major flooding on Saturday and are likely to last for days as they try to recover from the deadly threat Hurricane Ianexpected to be The most expensive storm in Sunshine State’s history.

At least 66 people are believed to have died from Hurricane Ian in Florida alone, and four were killed in storm-related incidents in North Carolina, officials said. Ian also dislodged the power of hundreds of thousands in Carolinas Friday to early Saturday.

The biggest impacts remain in Florida, where river flooding could continue inland next week. Forecasters warn.

In Arcadia in west Florida on Saturday morning – dozens of miles inland – river flooding still covered part of town like a lake, rendering the state highway invisible and swallowing all but roofs of a gas station, a CNN crew there saw. Near Sarasota, a levee could burst, forcing officers to evacuate a neighborhood early Saturday over flood fears.

In the hard-hit Fort Myers, where high tides swallow vehicles and many first-floor homes, Rob Guarino is hosting friends in his high-rise apartment who have lost everything.

“Some of them are with me now. They just have nowhere to go,” Guarino told CNN’s Boris Sanchez on Saturday morning.

Ian, come Saturday afternoon, a vanish after tropical cyclone rain over the central Appalachians, pouring into southwestern Florida as a Type 4 Wednesday’s storm, crushing coastal homes and trapping residents with floodwaters, especially in Fort Myers and the Naples area. It pushed inland on Thursday, bringing strong winds and damaging flooding to central and northeastern areas.

The storm then made landfall again Friday in South Carolina between Charleston and Myrtle Beach as a Category 1 hurricane, flooding homes and vehicles along the coast and eventually blacking out hundreds of thousands of other people in the Carolinas and Virginia.

Live Update: Recovery efforts begin in Florida and Carolinas

In Florida’s Fort Myers Beach, where a violent storm surges wipe out houses and leave little but pieces of debrisTrembling survivors are coming to terms with what they’ve seen and mourning those they’ve lost.

Kevin Behen, who weathered the storm on the second floor of a Fort Myers Beach building, told CNN Friday night that he knew of two men who died making sure their wives escaped a house that began. flooding.

“These people pushed their wives out the window to a tree,” Behen said. “They just look at their wives and say, ‘We can’t hold back anymore. We love you. Goodbye, ‘and that’s it. ”

About 90% Island “It’s pretty much gone,” said Fort Myers Beach Township Councilman Dan Allers. “Unless you have a high-rise apartment or a newer concrete house built to the same standards today, your house is pretty much gone.”

More than 1.4 million utility customers were without power Saturday morning in the four states behind Ian, including 1.2 million in Florida; more than 203,000 in North Carolina; 59,000 in Virginia; and 28,000 in South Carolina, according to PowerOutage.us.

Ian weakened into a tropical cyclone late Friday night, and its center – with sustained winds of 25 mph – was near the North Carolina-Virginia state line at 11 am on Saturday.

It will disappear on Saturday night. By the end of the storm, it could have dumped 2 to 6 inches of rain over parts of the central Appalachians and mid-Atlantic coast, the center of the storm. speak.

In South Carolina, Ian dumped 7 to nearly 10 inches of rain in some coastal areas, according to National Weather Service data.

How to help the victims of Hurricane Ian

A series of devastation was slashed across the Florida Peninsula on Wednesday and Thursday, with communities along the southwest coast facing the brunt of the Ian high tide as it made landfall. Sanibel and Captiva Island was cut from the mainland after parts of a causeway were swept away by a storm.

In western Florida early Saturday, fears of a potential levee rupture forced sheriffs to go door-to-door in the Sarasota area community of Hidden River to warn residents of the potential for flooding there. , sheriff’s office speak.

The leak “affected a number of homes in that area (Hidden River) but it didn’t go any further than that, and residents were safely evacuated,” said North Port Fire Chief Scott Titus said Saturday.

Titus said, south of Hidden River, about 150 other people were also evacuated because water flooded the city of North Port, where thousands of homes were already flooded.

Many people in western Florida are telling stories of narrow escapes.

In Naples, Brandon and Dylan Barlow were cleaning up their grandfather’s flooded home on Saturday morning. Dylan, who lived nearby, recalled watching the storm from his own home and realizing one of their grandfather’s canals was rising too fast for comfort.

“I didn’t ask him if we could pick him up; I told him, we’re picking him up,” Dylan Barlow recalled Saturday. “So we took the car. We went to his house, and when we got him out of the house, the water was probably almost two meters deep.

“And we drove back under the water, and it was very close, but we got him out of there and we got him safely back to my mother’s house.”

Claudette Smith, public information officer for the sheriff’s office, said people living in West Florida’s Charlotte County are “faced with tragedy” without a home, electricity or water.

“We need everything, to put it plainly and simply. We need everything. We need everyone on deck,” Smith told CNN Friday. “The people who have supported us have been very helpful, but we need everything.”

From the shores of Florida to inland cities like Orlando, dangerous flooding has left locals in dire straits. In a residential area in Orlando where deep water covered the roads, some residents travel by boat to support others.

An aerial photo taken Friday shows the only entrance to the destroyed Matlacha neighborhood following Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Florida.

A 12-mile section of Interstate 75 in Sarasota County was closed in both directions due to the rising Myakka River, according to the Florida Department of Transportation Friday night.

The US Coast Guard has rescued more than 275 people in Florida, according to Rear Admiral Brendan McPherson, and hundreds of additional rescues are being carried out by teams from FEMA and local and state agencies. But post-storm conditions remain a major challenge, he told CNN on Friday.

“We are flying and we are operating in unidentifiable areas. There are no street signs. They don’t look the same as before. he said.

According to the sheriff there, at least 66 deaths suspected of being linked to Ian have been reported in Florida, including about 35 in Lee County. Fees are also included 12 in Charlotte County, 8 in Collier County, 5 in Volusia County, three in Sarasota County, one in Polk County, one in Lake County, and one in Manatee County, according to officials.

In North Carolina, the governor’s office said four storm-related deaths were reported Saturday afternoon, including a man who drowned when his truck entered a flooded swamp; two people died in separate collisions; and a man died of carbon monoxide poisoning after running a generator in a closed garage, the governor’s office said.

The governor there said no deaths have been reported in South Carolina.

“There’s been some damage, there’s been some heartbreak, there’s some work to be done,” Governor Henry McMaster said Saturday. “But overall, it’s a good story.”

The storm flooded homes and submerged vehicles along the South Carolina coast. Two piers – one on Pawleys Island and the other on North Myrtle Beach – partially collapsed as high winds pushed the water even higher.

Edgar Stephens, manager of the Cherry Grove Pier in North Myrtle Beach, was several steps away when a 100-foot section of the jetty crashed into the ocean. Pier owners are committed to rebuilding, Stephens said, but it can take months to get all the necessary materials in place.

Floodwaters are drawn from inside a restaurant near where Hurricane Ian made landfall in Georgetown, South Carolina, on September 30, 2022.

The authorities also make a damage list on South Carolina’s Pawleys Island, a seaside town about 70 miles north of Charleston. The biggest concern there, according to the mayor, is how to get rid of the debris, so that the island can be safe again.

“It was a Category 1 hurricane, but we went through a major storm today, which is probably beyond most people’s expectations,” Mayor Brian Henry told CNN’s Jake Tapper on Friday.

A child runs under a fallen tree due to the effects of Hurricane Ian, Friday in Charleston, South Carolina.

“Most of us didn’t believe we were going to see the storm rise to a height of seven metres,” Henry said. “It’s starting to recede, but we have huge amounts of water on the roads and all over the island.”

Pawleys Island residents will not be allowed to return home until safety assessments are fully conducted on Saturday, police said.

At H Taxi County, home to North Myrtle Beach, crews began removing debris left by the storm. Officials are urging people to stay home and not drive.

“It was a pretty scary sight,” Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said of the storm. “I saw too many cars passing by. And I think people don’t realize how dangerous it is to be out in these conditions. We’ve seen a lot of people’s cars get stuck, and emergency workers have to go out and rescue people.”

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