FLORIDA’S FORT MYERS (AP) — Streets that were formerly navigable were now being kayaked down by people. thousands without electricity. Rescue missions are being carried out by National Guard helicopters for people who are still stuck on Florida’s barrier islands.
Days after Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc from Florida to the Carolinas, the risks continued and in some instances even got worse. It was obvious that the road to recovery after this enormous storm would be difficult and drawn out.
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And Ian wasn’t finished yet. Authorities warned of the possibility of major flooding along Virginia’s coast starting overnight Monday after the storm drenched the state with rain on Sunday.
According to Cody Poche of the National Weather Service, Ian’s leftovers drifted offshore and became a nor’easter, which is predicted to add to the already overflowing Chesapeake Bay and threaten to bring about the worst tidal flooding storm to hit Virginia’s Hampton Roads in the past 10 to 15 years.
Chincoteague, an island community, issued a state of emergency on Sunday and urged inhabitants in some areas to leave. The Northern Outer Banks of North Carolina and the Eastern Shore were also anticipated to be affected. There have been at least 68 verified fatalities, with 61 in Florida, four in North Carolina, and three in Cuba.
Deanne Criswell, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, stated that as the death toll increased, the federal government was prepared to provide massive assistance, focusing initially on those in Florida who were hardest hit by one of the strongest storms to hit the United States.
The state will be visited by President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden on Wednesday. Many individuals became isolated due to flooded roads, washed-out bridges to barrier islands, poor cellphone reception, and a lack of basic services like internet, electricity, and water. The rain that dropped had nowhere to go because the canals are overflowing, so officials issued a warning that the situation in many locations is not anticipated to improve for several days.
By late Sunday, fewer than 700,000 Florida homes and businesses were without electricity, down from a peak of 2.6 million. The Coast Guard and Department of Defense, among other federal agencies, have deployed “the highest amount of search and rescue assets that I think we’ve ever put in place,” according to Criswell on “Fox News Sunday.”
Criswell, who visited the state on Friday and Saturday to evaluate the damage and speak with survivors, said that rehabilitation will still take time. She issued a warning that there were still risks due to downed power wires in standing water. According to Florida’s emergency management organization, more than 1,600 individuals had been saved statewide.
Rescue operations were still being carried out, particularly on Florida’s barrier islands, which were shut off from the mainland when storm surges wrecked causeways and bridges. DeSantis stated on Sunday that the state would create a temporary traffic bridge for the largest one, Pine Island, and that funding had been approved for the Department of Transportation to erect it this week. As a result, work may begin as early as Monday.
At a news conference, the governor said: “It won’t be a full bridge, you’ll have to go over it maybe at 5 miles per hour or something, but it’ll at least let people go in and out of the island with their automobiles.”
Over the past few days, workers from the Coast Guard, local governments, and private companies have used jetskis, boats, and even helicopters to rescue residents. Residents of rural Seminole County, which is located north of Orlando, put on waders, boots, and bug spray on Sunday in order to paddle to their flooded homes.
After kayaking near Lake Harney, Ben Bertat discovered 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water inside his home. Bertat added, pointing to the flooded road, “I think it’s going to become worse because all of this water has to get to the lake. “Due to earth saturation, the marsh is completely full and can no longer hold any more water. It doesn’t appear to be dropping anymore.
A beach town located about 75 miles (115 kilometers) up the coast from Charleston in South Carolina, Pawleys Island, still has at least half of its electricity down. The hurricane brought down trees and electrical wires in North Carolina.
The following reporters from the Associated Press contributed to this story: Richard Lardner in Washington, David Fischer in Miami, Brendan Farrington and Anthony Izaguirre in Tallahassee, Rebecca Santana in Ft. Myers, Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Va., and David Fischer in Miami.
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