Frustration mounts as Hurricane Ian’s impact continues

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Days after skies cleared and winds eased in Florida, the impact of Hurricane Ian continued Monday as people faced another week without power and others were rescued from homes damaged by the sustained floods were inundated.

Frustrations mounted as the storm sliced ​​through Florida, and what was left of the hurricane, now a Nor’easter, wasn’t done with the US

The mid-Atlantic and northeastern coasts got torrential rains. Forecasters said the storm’s onshore winds could dump more water into an already-flooded Chesapeake Bay and threatened to cause the most significant tidal flooding event in Virginia’s Hampton Roads region in more than a decade.

Norfolk and Virginia Beach declared states of emergency while watching how bad Monday’s floods would be. Coastal flooding is possible from North Carolina’s Outer Banks to Long Island, the National Weather Service said.

At least 68 people have been confirmed dead: 61 in Florida, four in North Carolina and three in Cuba since Ian first landed on the Caribbean island on September 27, and in Florida a day later.

Search and rescue efforts were still ongoing in Florida as of Monday. More than 1,600 people were rescued statewide, according to the Florida Disaster Management Agency.

Fort Myers Beach Mayor Ray Murphy told NBC’s Today Show that residents who have been evacuated are being kept away from their homes for the most part because searches are likely to take several more days.

Eroded bridges to offshore islands, flooded roads, isolated cell phone service and lack of water, electricity or internet left hundreds of thousands still isolated. In many areas, the situation was not to improve for several days as the waterways overflowed and the rain had nowhere to go.

In DeSoto County, northeast of Fort Myers, the Peace River and its tributaries reached record highs.

Many residents of the district, which has around 37,000 inhabitants, could only be reached by boat. Which roads remained afloat were blocked, according to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, which supported the effort.

“Right now we’re working to form teams to help search for stranded residents and we’re dispatching ATVs to clear debris on roads that couldn’t be navigated,” MPs wrote in a Facebook post.

Joe Gunn said 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 go camping.

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

Gunn braced himself for another stressful night and worried someone might try to steal his supplies. “I keep listening to the generator. It’s pitch black outside the house,’ he said.

About 600,000 Florida homes and businesses were still without power as of Monday morning, down from a peak of 2.6 million. But there are still almost the same number of customers across Rhode Island.

The current goal is to have power restored by Sunday for customers whose power lines and other electrical infrastructure are still intact, Kevin Guthrie, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, said Monday. It does not include houses or areas where infrastructure needs to be rebuilt.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden plan to visit the state on Wednesday.

In Virginia, the US Navy postponed the first-ever deployment of the USS Gerald R. Ford, the nation’s most advanced aircraft carrier, according to a statement from the Navy’s 2nd Fleet. The airline and other US ships were scheduled to leave Norfolk on Monday for training exercises in the Atlantic with ships from other NATO countries.

Coast Guard, municipal and private crews have used helicopters, boats and even jet skis to evacuate people in recent days.

After passing through Florida, Ian made landfall again in the United States in South Carolina as a much weaker hurricane. Officials said Monday crews had finished clearing sand from coastal roads and almost all power had been restored. Frustration mounts as Hurricane Ian’s impact continues

Dais Johnston

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