On Wednesday afternoon (September 28), Hurricane Ian tore through Florida as a category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 150 mph. Florida was left in pieces with destroyed buildings and flooding across the counties. By Wednesday night, more than 2 million people were without power in the state. While the storm had gradually weakened into category 1 after making landfall, Florida was hit and was hit hard.
As of Monday morning (October 3), more than 613,000 homes, businesses, and other customers were without power and many were without clean tap water. Power may not be reinstated for 30 days in Fort Myers Beach, where search crews are foraging through the rubble, on account of the destruction of electrical infrastructure. According to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, the National Guard will be transporting power crews to Sanibel and Pine islands to gauge the damage done and to begin working on restoring power.
While the destruction is being assessed around the state, rescue efforts are being made. The death toll from this horrific storm rose to at least 101 by Monday. In Lee County alone, 54 people died, the previous count being 42. In Charlotte County, 24 deaths were counted, rising from 12. Ian also caused the deaths of 8 people in Collier County, 5 in Volusia County, 3 in Sarasota County, 2 in Manatee County, and 1 in each Lake, Hardee, Hendry, Hillsborough, and Polk counties. Needless to say, this hurricane turned the lives of many Floridians upside down.
After ravaging parts of southwest and central Florida, Hurricane Ian headed towards the Carolinas. It hit Friday (September 31), causing flooding, storm surges, and wind damage across both North and South Carolina. The center landed near Georgetown, South Carolina, with less severe winds than when the storm crossed Florida, but with significant damage to the Carolinas. Across both states, a collective of 129,000 customers remain without power. Hurricane Ian is approximated as the costliest hurricane ever to hit the U.S with estimations of $50 billion to rebuild.