HomeWorldHurricane Ian death toll tops 100 as Florida struggles to recover

Hurricane Ian death toll tops 100 as Florida struggles to recover


Days after Hurricane Ian crashed into Florida, the effects of the storm are still devastating parts of the state. Bridges to barrier islands are washed out, roads are flooded, and some areas are experiencing a lack of power or water.

The situation in many areas is not expected to improve for several days because waterways are overflowing, leaving the rain that has fallen with nowhere to go.

Amid the devastation, the death toll is rising. CBS News has confirmed that at least 103 people have died from the storm: 99 in Florida and another 4 in North Carolina.

For many, it is expected to be a long road to recovery.

Florida's southern Gulf Coast continues cleanup efforts following Hurricane Ian
A member of the City of Miami, Florida Task Force 2 Search and Rescue team checks homes for victims in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on October 3, 2022 in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

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About 130 Florida Department of Transportation trucks have begun work on building a temporary bridge to Pine Island on Florida’s Gulf Coast and by the end of the week it should be finished in a structure that drivers can carefully traverse at low speed, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said during a news conference Monday afternoon.

The governor said a similar temporary bridge is planned for nearby Sanibel, but it will take a little longer.

“They were talking about running ferries and stuff,” DeSantis said. “And honestly, you might be able to do that, but I think this is kind of easier, and I think people need their vehicles anyway.”

Florida's southern Gulf Coast continues cleanup efforts following Hurricane Ian
A warning to looters is painted on the side of a car destroyed during Hurricane Ian on October 3, 2022 in Pine Island, Florida.

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The first two days without power at his Punta Gorda home weren’t bad because he, his wife and 4-year-old daughter like to camp, Joe Gunn said.

But then they ran out of gas, Gunn said as he waited an hour for $20 worth of premium fuel from a Bonita Springs station, one of the few open in the area. The family then drove to get supplies and a hot meal.

Gunn was preparing for another stressful night, worried that someone might try to steal his supplies. “I constantly hear the generator. It’s completely dark outside the house,” he said.

Florida's southern Gulf Coast continues cleanup efforts following Hurricane Ian
A member of the City of Miami, Florida Task Force 2 Search and Rescue team checks a home for victims in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on October 3, 2022 in Fort Myers, Florida.

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Across Southwest Florida, residents whose homes were engulfed by sea or flooding dumped water-soaked mattresses, couches and other belongings onto the street, ripping out floors and shearing through walls, hoping to dry out their home structures sooner. for mold to settle.

“Everything that got water is starting to get moldy. We’re cutting all the drywall, 2 feet up, trying to dry things out to save the house and protect it from further damage,” said Jeff Rioux, grateful for several days. good weather and generators to run the fans.

Neighbors helped each other where they could.

“I lost everything,” said Alice Pujols, crying as she sorted through piles of clothing from the castaways at a stranger’s house. “I’m just looking for what I can salvage.”

Approximately 431,000 homes and businesses in Florida were still without power Tuesday morning.

Florida's southern Gulf Coast continues cleanup efforts following Hurricane Ian
Elizabeth D’Onofrio and Sean Halliday ride their bikes in front of a destroyed mobile home in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on October 3, 2022 in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

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Eric Silagy, president and CEO of Florida Power & Light, said he understands the frustrations and stressed that utility crews are working to restore power as soon as possible. The utility, the state’s largest, expects power to be restored to 95% of service areas affected by Hurricane Ian by the end of the day Friday, he said.

“If all goes well, we will be able to get all of our customers back, the more than 2 million who were affected by this monster storm,” Silagy said.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden plan to visit Florida on Wednesday. The president was in Puerto Rico on Monday and vowed to “rebuild everything” after Hurricane Fiona knocked out power to the island two weeks ago.



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