President Joe Biden fears Hurricane Ian could be the deadliest in Florida history. “The numbers are unclear, but we are hearing the first reports of significant loss of life,” he said. Officially, one death has been reported so far as a result of the severe weather.
Local media reported that a 72-year-old man was killed near his home north of Orlando as a result of the storm. It is feared that more people have died. The coastguard is looking for a boat with about 20 Cuban migrants that disappeared during the tornado.
Biden has declared the situation in the state of Florida following Hurricane Ian a major disaster. As a result, residents of the affected areas can claim financial and other assistance, such as temporary shelter and repairs to their homes.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said 250 planes and helicopters, 1,600 vehicles and 300 boats have been readied to help civilians as soon as possible.
Water in some places up to 3 meters high
Devastating Hurricane Ian made landfall on Florida’s west coast Wednesday evening with winds of up to 150 miles per hour. The storm also caused massive damage.
Coastal cities of Sarasota, Venice and Fort Myers were hit hardest. Meter-high waves hit the coast and heavy rains caused flooding. The hurricane also hit boats on the coast and destroyed buildings and bridges.
In some places in Florida, the water is between 2 and 3 meters high, according to local reports. In affected neighborhoods, people do not know how to get out of their flooded home without a boat. Many are looking for possible victims in the flooded areas.
It is unclear when the water will recede. More than 2 million people are without power and it will take days and sometimes weeks to repair the damage, according to the electricity companies.
Meanwhile, Ian has weakened to a tropical storm. Once over the Atlantic Ocean, Ian can regain strength, it is expected.