Florida Devastated by Hurricane Ian

Hurricane Ian came crashing into Florida, killing over 100 people and destroying over 60 billion dollars in property.


Vince https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOk41-zbuc0&lc=UgyAHmre-Z9SlUUDUSh4AaABAg

The wreckage on Fort Myers beach after Hurricane Ian, captured via drone

Ella Alexander, Reporter

The wreckage on Fort Myers beach after Hurricane Ian, captured via drone (Vince)

It’s been one week since Florida was hit with one of the worst hurricanes America has seen in years. Hurricane Ian touched down inCape Coral, Florida as a category 4 hurricane on Wednesday Sept 27 and devastated Florida along with the rest of the southeast coast. The winds kept steady at 150 mph, just 7 mph short of the label of a category 5.

Hurricane Ian ravished the sunshine state leaving behind mass destruction and flooding in its wake. Ian is estimated to have caused over 60 billion dollars in insured loss. Schools, homes, small businesses, and treasured landmarks have suffered under its hand. Many buildings are flattened leaving just a foundation as a result of the 150 mph winds. The storm surges and mass flooding gutted the first floors of many

resident’s property, leaving their possessions unrepairable. According to Weather Channel’s hurricane expert Rick Knabb, the surges were expected to reach 12 feet high. The waves delivered and exceeded that expectation, reaching over 20 feet high..

President Biden said the scale of Ian’s devastation will probably rank among the “worst in the nation’s history.”

Hurricane Ian is now being called the deadliest storm since 1935. Before the hurricane hit more than 2.5 million residents were under an evacuation order from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. However many Florida residents refused to leave the place they called home even if it meant risking their lives. According to CNN there are 101 Florida residents dead, and four South Carolina residents, the total being 105 people, this estimate growing everyday. The majority of these deaths are due to drowning, and the general aftermath of the storm.

“We see so many more injuries and sometimes more fatalities after the storm,” Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said. “Standing water brings with it all kinds of hazards — it has debris, it could have power lines.”

Even with the evacuation orders, residents stood in the face of the storm unwilling to evacuate. Lorraine Regan, a Sanibel Island resident stayed on the island throughout the hurricane. She boarded up her house and methodically prepared.

After surviving the storm in her condo, Regan raises a flag in order to tell her children she survived. (Ted Richardson/For The Washington Post / Getty Images)

But she was shocked with the force Hurricane Ian brought. It rained for days and completely flooded the first story of her condo. Regen lost contact with her family when the power and the internet was cut off. She was all by herself in the middle of a hurricane. Eventually the storm let up, the winds died down, and Regan raised a flag on her roof to testify her survival.

“I wish I had [evacuated]. And my major regret, the whole entire time, was having my family worry about me,” Regan said. 

Located off the coast of Fort Myers in Lee county, Sanibel and Captiva Island were one of the first areas to be hit by Hurricane Ian in the U.S. The islands were left with debris scattered across the land, and luckily many iconic landmarks were preserved: Baileys grocery, the Mucky Duck, and Jerry’s. However many were destroyed by Ian including: the Lazy Flamingo, Bubble Room, Beachview Cottages. But one of the most tragic losses is the causeway, the bridge that connects the island to Fort Myers. During the hurricane the causeway was hit hard leaving it impassable, cutting off traffic between the islands and the rest of the mainland.

Hurricane Ian took out areas on the causeway leaving it impassable. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

“The big wild card for everyone is the causeway. Repairing is going to be slow,” Paul Primeaux, the charter captain said. “And that will delay the supplies necessary to rebuild everything else, and the tourists we all rely on.”

Hurricane Ian is being called the deadliest hurricane to hit the US since the infamous hurricane Katrina for many reasons. Hurricane Ian was difficult to predict with its inconsistent weather patterns, the hurricane traveled along an unusual path. It formed in the Caribbean and reached north into the Gulf of Mexico before it hit Florida. Along with the odd course Hurricane Ian took, it also experienced what meteorologists call rapid intensification. This is when a storm gains over 35 mph in wind speed in 24 hours or less. With difficulty in predicting Hurricane Ian came a delayed response for the evacuations meaning less people had the opportunity to leave before the brunt of the storm hit. Hurricane Ian left Florida with massive amounts of work to be done in order to restore it to its former glory. However even after the cleanup and rebuilding Florida will be changed for generations to come.

“It’s going to bounce back, but it won’t be the same city,” Johnson said. “Very rarely does it go back to what it was.”