US state of Florida: Several deaths feared by hurricane

Status: 30/09/2022 05:32 am

Millions of people in Florida are still without power, many trapped by floodwaters. Hurricane Ian could be the deadliest storm in state history, US President Biden said. He has since moved north.

US President Joe Biden called Hurricane Ian one of the deadliest storms in Florida history. “The numbers are still unclear, but we are hearing the first reports of a potentially significant loss of life,” Biden said during a visit to the US civil protection agency FEMA.

The authorities are still reluctant to provide figures on the dead and injured. The television station CNN on Thursday evening mentioned the number of at least 17 deaths in Florida, citing information from several provinces. This number has not been officially confirmed.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has made it clear that he also expects high numbers of victims in the end. He warned that the situation remains dangerous. “We are still experiencing deadly rain, catastrophic storm surges, flooded streets and homes,” he said. “We’ve never seen floods like this, we’ve never seen a storm surge of this magnitude,” DeSantis said at a press conference.

More than 2.3 million people without electricity

The hurricane swept across Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday with winds of about 150 miles per hour and left a path of destruction in its wake. Boats were washed ashore, houses were washed away and torrential rains caused flooding.

The storm knocked out power to more than 2.6 million homes. According to official figures, more than 2.3 million people are still without electricity. “Ian” is already considered one of the strongest storms to hit the continental United States.

The rescue efforts are in full swing

Authorities warned of ongoing dangers in areas still flooded, such as electrical short circuits, pollutants in the sewers or alligators. Many residents remained in their homes despite being told to evacuate.

Rescue workers are now searching for people trapped in their flooded homes. According to DeSantis, 28 helicopters are used for this reason. In addition, more than 175 emergency shelters have been set up. In more than 700 cases, people in need were rescued, the governor said.

On Sanibel Island, the bridge connecting it to the mainland was destroyed. Helicopter footage showed burning houses among flooded streets or properties from which the buildings had been completely washed away. In Fort Meyer, heavy concrete blocks from a pier landed between apartment buildings.

Deaths and destruction after Hurricane “Ian” in Florida

Torben Börgers, ARD Washington, night magazine 00:37, 30 September 2022

The extent of the damage is still unclear

FEMA Director Deanne Criswell said, “Hurricane ‘Ian’ will be a storm we will talk about for decades to come.” The next few days will be difficult, there are many complex problems to be solved in the operations in the storm area. There is still no exact assessment of the damage. “But it would be catastrophic.” Your government is preparing for the fact that thousands of families will not be able to return to their homes and will need temporary accommodation.

Carmine Marceno, the sheriff of Lee County, one of the hardest-hit regions on Florida’s southwest coast, told CNN that thousands of emergency calls were received overnight in the county. However, some areas are not yet accessible to rescue workers. “We have been hit very, very hard.”

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Hurricane Ian is regaining strength

The hurricane has since moved north. On its way from Florida to South Carolina, it regained power over the Atlantic Ocean. With sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour, “Ian” again became a level one five hurricane as it made its way to the coast of the state of South Carolina, according to the US Hurricane Center. It was previously downgraded to a tropical storm. The US Hurricane Center also warned of dangerous storm surge in the states of North Carolina and Georgia.

With information from Ralf Borchard, ARD Studio Washington

Numerous hurricane deaths feared in Florida – “Ian” on course for South Carolina

Ralf Borchard, ARD Washington, September 30, 2022 5:22 am.



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