Death toll escalates in Florida to 47 from Hurricane Ian

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Authorities at Florida confirmed several more deaths late Saturday, increasing the state’s death toll from Hurricane Ian At least 47 people were killed, increasing the global toll to at least 54 deaths.
A list of deaths compiled and publicly released by the state’s medical examiners has reported many drowning deaths, victims found submerged or floating in stormy waters.
Ian crashed into the southwest Florida Gulf Coast as a major Category 4 storm early last week before crossing the peninsula Atlantic and then hit the southeastern coast of the United States as a Category 1 hurricane. Four other hurricane-related deaths were reported in North Carolina and three in Cuba.
The death toll from the storm, one of the strongest hurricanes by wind speed ever to make landfall in the United States, has risen to nearly three dozen, with deaths reported from Cuba, Florida and North Carolina. The storm weakened on Saturday as it made landfall in the mid-Atlantic, but not before it washed away bridges and docks, swept large boats into buildings on the shore and blew roofs off. power outages for hundreds of thousands of people.
At least 35 people are confirmed dead, including 28 people in Florida mostly by drowning but others as a result of Ian’s tragic aftermath. Authorities say an elderly couple died after their oxygen ventilator went off during a power outage.
As of Saturday, more than 1,000 people had been rescued from flooded areas along Florida’s southwest coast. Daniel Hokansona four-star general and head of the National Guard, told The Associated Press while in the air to Florida.
Chris Schnapp was at the Port Sanibel Marina in Fort Myers on Saturday, waiting to see if her 83-year-old mother-in-law had been evacuated. Sanibel Island. A pontoon boat had just arrived with a load of passengers from the island – with suitcases and animals towed – but Schnapp’s mother-in-law was not among them.
“She stayed on the island. My brother-in-law and sister-in-law own two businesses there. They’ve evacuated. She doesn’t want to go,” Schnapp said. Now, she said, she’s not sure if her mother-in-law is still on the island or has been taken to a shelter somewhere.
On Pine Island, the largest breakwater island off Florida’s Gulf Coast, homes were reduced to debris and boats littered the streets as a volunteer rescue team went door-to-door Saturday, lovingly. Ask isolated residents if they want to evacuate. Residents describe horror trapped in their home as the water continued to rise.
“The water kept pounding against the house and we watched, the boats, the houses – we watched everything just go by,” Joe Conforti said, trying to hold back tears. He said that if it weren’t for his wife, who suggested they stand on the table to avoid the water rising, he wouldn’t have done it: “I start to lose feeling, because when the water is in front of your door and it splashes out. splash.” on the door and you are seeing how fast it moves, there is no way you will survive then. ”
River floods sometimes pose a major challenge to rescue efforts and delivery services. The Myakka River swept through a section of Interstate 75, forcing a congested highway to close for a time on Saturday. It’s an important corridor connecting Tampa in the north to the hard-hit Southwest Florida area between Port Charlotte and Fort Myers. Late Saturday, state officials said, water levels had receded enough for I-75 to fully reopen.
While the surge in rivers southwest of Florida has peaked or is nearing its peak, the water levels are not expected to drop significantly, said meteorologist Tyler Fleming of the National Weather Service in Tampa. for many days.
Elsewhere, South Carolina’s Pawleys Island – a beach community about 75 miles (115 km) from Charleston – was among the hardest hit. Power remained collapsed to at least half of the island on Saturday.
Eddie Wilder, who has been to Pawleys Island for more than six decades, said Friday’s storm was “crazy”. He said waves as high as 25 feet (7.6 meters) washed away the local pier – an iconic landmark.
“We watched it hit the pier and saw the pier disappear,” said Wilder, whose house is 30 feet (9 meters) above sea level. “We watched it crumble and watched it float with an American flag.”
Pawleys Pier was one of at least four piers along the South Carolina coast destroyed by wind and rain. Meanwhile, the internal waterway is dotted with the remains of several collapsed houseboats.
John Joseph, whose father built the family’s beige beach house in 1962, said on Saturday he was delighted to return from Georgetown, which has been directly affected. He found his Pawleys Island home completely intact.
“Thank God these walls are still here, and we feel very fortunate that this is the worst,” he said of the sand that has swept down his home. “What happened in Florida – gosh, God bless us. If we were out 4, I wouldn’t be here.”
In North Carolina, the storm claimed four lives and most of it toppled trees and power lines, leaving more than 280,000 people statewide without power at one point Saturday morning, officials said. The outage dropped sharply a few hours later, after crews worked to restore power.
Two of the North Carolina deaths were from storm-related vehicle crashes while officials said a man also drowned when his truck plunged into the swamp, and a man Another died from carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator in the garage.
At the Port Sanibel Marina in Fort Myers, Captain Ryan Kane inspected the damage to two boats Saturday. The high tide pushed several boats and a berth ashore. He said the boat he owned was destroyed so he couldn’t use it to save people. He said, it will be a long time before he will be able to hire fishing customers again.
“There’s a hole in the hull. It gets water in the engines. It gets water in everything,” he said, adding: “You know, boats have to be in the water, not in the docks.”


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