Knocking out power in over a million houses, pulverizing roads and highways, and killing over one hundred-twenty people, Hurricane Ian made landfall in Southeast Florida on September 28th earning the title of one of the most powerful hurricanes recorded since 1935. The devastation left behind by this natural disaster is estimated to take years to rebuild.
Slamming into the Gulf of Mexico, savage winds at speeds of 150 miles per hour tore through infrastructure, businesses, and homes. Storm surges as high as eighteen feet blasted through buildings, trapping, and drowning people inside; its enormous waves completely obliterated buildings and communities. Coming as a shock to hurricane experts, the storm’s surge was the cause of sixty percent more deaths than wind. The leading cause of death is going to be drowning,” predicts a surprised W. Craig Fugate, former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
As state officials struggled to tend to the many 911 calls they received, the damage multiplied by the day. Fortunately, the Florida State government was successful in rescuing a whopping 500 people in Charlotte and Lee counties, which were hit the hardest.
Mayors, Sheriffs, and officials are horrified at the toll that Ian had on their communities. According to the National Hurricane Center, state authorities have documented 117 total deaths in Florida, already exceeding the death toll of Hurricane Irma of 2017, and Hurricane Andrew of 1992.
As the storm traveled westward, Fort Myers, FL, began to experience the same agonizing destruction that plagued the rest of the state. People living in this area were left with inhabitable homes, no electricity, and unsafe drinking water. Hurricane Ian was catastrophic to Florida’s power grid, resulting in 2.5 million power outages statewide. These families, forced to live destitute, were stuck in elongated power outages.
Hurricane Ian weakened as it exited the Florida peninsula, and traveled northward towards South Carolina. With regained strength, the storm crashed near Georgetown, South Carolina on Sept. 30th, making landfall in the U.S. for the third and final time.
Cities are now struggling to recover from the devastation left behind by Hurricane Ian. The ramifications to this natural diaster are severe, and it is anticipated to take several years for the destruction to be rebuilt.
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