According to CNN, at least 67 people were killed by Ian in Florida as it swallowed homes in its furious rushing waters, obliterated roadways and ripped down powerlines. Four people were also killed in storm-related incidents in North Carolina, officials say.
Many of the Ian-related deaths have been reported in southwestern Florida’s Lee County, which includes Fort Myers and Sanibel Island, where at least 35 people died.
The storm’s toll in Florida also includes 12 deaths in Charlotte County, eight in Collier County, five in Volusia County, three in Sarasota County and one each in Polk, Lake, Hendry and Manatee counties, according to officials.
Three persons also died in Cuba where Ian made its first landfall Tuesday.
More than 1,000 people have been rescued along Florida’s southwestern coast alone and search and rescue efforts were continuing in some isolated areas.
The bridge to Pine Island, the largest barrier island off Florida’s Gulf Coast, was destroyed by the storm. Some residents were evacuated by helicopter.
Florida Power & Light, the state's largest power company, said it had restored power to more than 1.5 million customers including all hospitals in its service area. More than 20,000 workers were involved in the restoration effort.
President Joseph R. Biden and first lady Jill T. Biden will travel to Florida this week, according to the White House, to see firsthand the widespread damage caused by Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms to strike the nation, and the recovery being carried out by tens of thousands of local, state and federal workers and volunteers.
The Bidens will travel to Puerto Rico on Monday and then head to Florida on Wednesday. Hurricane Fiona slammed Puerto Rico as a Category 1 storm on September 18, 2022.