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'It was crazy': Florida continues to rescue victims of Hurricane Ian

2022-10-02T14:13:49.138Z

“The water kept hitting the house and we watched boats and houses fly by,” said one Pine Island resident, fighting back tears.



By Rebecca Santana and Meg Kinnard —

The Associated Press

Dozens of Floridians fled their flooded and shattered homes by boat and air on Saturday as rescuers continued to search for survivors of Hurricane Ian and authorities in the Carolinas took stock of their losses.

The death toll from the storm, one of the strongest hurricanes by wind speed to hit the United States, rose to more than 70, with

73 confirmed deaths in Florida,

four in North Carolina and three in Cuba. .

The storm dissolved in Virginia on Saturday, but not before wiping out bridges and piers for days, launching huge ships against buildings and ripping off roofs, leaving hundreds of thousands without power.

Most of the deaths in Florida were due to drowning during the storm, but others were due to Ian's tragic aftermath.

An elderly couple died when power was lost and their oxygen machines turned off, according to local authorities.

A home on Pine Island whose resident was left behind in the storm and is missing.

Gerald Herbert/AP

More than 1,000 people had been rescued as of Saturday in flooded areas off Florida's southwest coast, said Daniel Hokanson, a four-star general and chief of the National Guard.

The White House announced that President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden would travel to Florida on Wednesday.

Chris Schnapp was at the Sanibel Marina in Fort Myers on Saturday, waiting to see if his 83-year-old mother-in-law had been evacuated from Sanibel Island.

A boat arrived loaded with passengers from the island—with suitcases and animals in tow—but Schnapp's mother-in-law was not among them.

“He stayed on the island.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law have two businesses there.

They were evacuated.

She didn't want to go," Schnapp said.

Now, she added, she wasn't sure if his mother-in-law was still on the island or she had been taken to a shelter somewhere.

The images of the devastation caused by Ian in Pine Island

Oct. 2, 202200:26

On Pine Island, the largest barrier island off Florida's Gulf Coast, homes were smashed to pieces and boats filled the roads as a volunteer rescue team went door-to-door asking residents if they wanted to be evacuated.

People described the horror of being trapped in their houses as the water continued to rise.

[This is how inflation and the cost of materials will affect the reconstruction of Florida after the passage of Hurricane Ian]

“The water kept hitting the house and we watched boats and houses fly

by,” Joe Conforti said as he fought back tears.

If it hadn't been for his wife, who suggested that they climb on a table to avoid rising water, he wouldn't have survived: "I started to lose feeling, because when the water is at your door and it splashes on you and you see how quickly that moves, there is no way to survive that, "he said.

The rise of the river posed at times a challenge for rescue efforts and delivery of supplies.

The Myakka washed away a section of Interstate 75, forcing the highway to be closed for a time.

The key corridor links Tampa to the north with the hard-hit Southwest Florida region, which stretches across Port Charlotte and Fort Myers.

Later Saturday, state officials said water levels had receded enough that I-75 could be fully reopened.

Although rising waters in southwest Florida rivers have crested or are about to crest, levels aren't expected to drop significantly for days, National Weather Service meteorologist Tyler Fleming in Tampa said.

Pawleys Island in South Carolina, a coastal community about 75 miles from Charleston, was one of the hardest hit places.

At least half of the island was left without power on Saturday.

Eddie Wilder, who has been coming to Pawleys Island for more than six decades, said Friday's storm was "insane" and waves up to 25 feet (7.6 meters) washed away the local pier, an iconic landmark.

“We watched it hit the pier and it was gone,” said Wilder, whose home 30 feet above the ocean remained dry inside.

"We saw it fall apart and float with a flag," he said.

Reporter covering Hurricane Ian rescues woman from danger in Orlando

Oct. 1, 202200:30

Pawleys Pier was one of four destroyed along the South Carolina coast by winds and rain.

Meanwhile, the Intracoastal Waterway was littered with the remains of several houseboats torn from their piers.

John Joseph, whose father built his family's beige beach house in 1962, said Saturday he was delighted to be back from Georgetown, which took a direct hit.

He found his Pawleys Island home totally intact.

"Thank God these walls are still here, and we feel very blessed that this is the worst," he said of the sand that had passed under his home.

"What happened in Florida — God bless us — if we had a Category 4, I wouldn't be here."

In North Carolina, the storm claimed four lives and mostly downed trees and power lines, leaving more than 280,000 people statewide without power at one point Saturday morning, officials said.

The outages eased sharply hours later after crews worked to restore power.

Two of the deaths in North Carolina were from storm-related vehicle crashes, while authorities said one man drowned when his truck plunged into a swamp and another died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator in North Carolina. a garage.

Cuba asks the United States for help to alleviate the damage of Hurricane Ian

Oct. 1, 202200:44

At the Sanibel Harbor in Fort Myers, charter boat captain Ryan Kane inspected damage to two boats on Saturday.

The storm surge pushed several boats and a pier towards the coast.

He claimed that the boat on his property was wrecked, so he could not use it to help rescue people.

Now, it will be a long time before he charters fishing clients again, he added.

“There is a hole in the hull.

Water has entered the motors.

Water got into everything,” he said, adding, “Boats are supposed to be in the water, not in parking lots.”

Source: telemundo

All news articles on 2022-10-02

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