Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — People kayaking down streets that had been satisfactory only a day or two earlier. Hundreds of hundreds with out energy. National Guard helicopters flying rescue missions to residents nonetheless stranded on Florida’s barrier islands.

Days after Hurricane Ian carved a path of destruction from Florida to the Carolinas, the risks persevered, and even worsened in some locations. It was clear the highway to restoration from this monster storm might be lengthy and painful.

And Ian was nonetheless not completed. The storm doused Virginia with rain Sunday, and officers warned of the potential for extreme flooding alongside its coast, starting in a single day Monday.

Ian’s remnants moved offshore and shaped a nor’easter that’s anticipated to pile much more water into an already inundated Chesapeake Bay and threatened to trigger essentially the most vital tidal flooding occasion in Virginia’s Hampton Roads area within the final 10 to fifteen years, mentioned Cody Poche, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

The island city of Chincoteague declared a state of emergency Sunday and strongly really helpful that residents in sure areas evacuate. The Eastern Shore and northern portion of North Carolina’s Outer Banks had been additionally more likely to be impacted.

At least 68 individuals have been confirmed lifeless: 61 in Florida, 4 in North Carolina and three in Cuba.

With the dying toll rising, Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, mentioned the federal authorities was able to assist in an enormous means, focusing first on victims in Florida, which took the brunt of one of many strongest storms to make landfall within the United States. President Joe Biden and first girl Jill Biden plan to go to the state on Wednesday.

People stand on the destroyed bridge to Pine Island as they view the damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Matlacha, Fla., on Oct. 2, 2022. The only bridge to the island is heavily damaged so it can only be reached by boat or air.
People stand on the destroyed bridge to Pine Island as they view the injury within the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Matlacha, Fla., on Oct. 2, 2022. The solely bridge to the island is closely broken so it could actually solely be reached by boat or air.

Flooded roadways and washed-out bridges to barrier islands left many individuals remoted amid restricted cellphone service and a scarcity of fundamental facilities reminiscent of water, electrical energy and the web. Officials warned that the scenario in lots of areas isn’t anticipated to enhance for a number of days as a result of the rain that fell has nowhere to go as a result of waterways are overflowing.

Fewer than 700,000 properties and companies in Florida had been nonetheless with out electrical energy by late Sunday, down from a peak of two.6 million.

Criswell informed “Fox News Sunday” that the federal authorities, together with the Coast Guard and Department of Defense, had moved into place “the most important quantity of search and rescue property that I feel we’ve ever put in place earlier than.”

Still, restoration will take time, mentioned Criswell, who visited the state Friday and Saturday to evaluate the injury and discuss to survivors. She cautioned that risks stay with downed energy strains in standing water.

More than 1,600 individuals have been rescued statewide, in response to Florida’s emergency administration company.

Rescue missions had been ongoing, particularly to Florida’s barrier islands, which had been reduce off from the mainland when storm surges destroyed causeways and bridges.

The state will construct a short lived visitors passageway for the most important one, Pine Island, DeSantis mentioned Sunday, including that an allocation had been accredited for Deportment of Transportation to construct it this week and development may begin as quickly as Monday.

“It’s not going to be a full bridge, you’re going to should go over it in all probability at 5 miles an hour or one thing, but it surely’ll at the least let individuals get in and off the island with their autos,” the governor mentioned at a information convention.

Residents are evacuated from the island by boats on Oct. 2, 2022 in Pine Island, Florida. Residents are being encouraged to leave because the only road onto the island is impassable and electricity and water remain knocked out after Hurricane Ian passed through the area.
Residents are evacuated from the island by boats on Oct. 2, 2022 in Pine Island, Florida. Residents are being inspired to depart as a result of the one highway onto the island is impassable and electrical energy and water stay knocked out after Hurricane Ian handed by the world.

Joe Raedle through Getty Images

Coast Guard, municipal and personal crews have been utilizing helicopters, boats and even jetskis to evacuate individuals over the previous a number of days.

In rural Seminole County, north of Orlando, residents donned waders, boots and bug spray to paddle to their flooded properties Sunday.

Ben Bertat discovered 4 inches (10 centimeters) of water in his home by Lake Harney after kayaking there.

“I feel it’s going to worsen as a result of all of this water has to get to the lake” mentioned Bertat, pointing to the water flooding a close-by highway. “With floor saturation, all this swamp is full and it simply can’t take any extra water. It doesn’t appear like it’s getting any decrease.”

Elsewhere, energy remained knocked out to at the least half of South Carolina’s Pawleys Island, a seaside neighborhood roughly 75 miles (115 kilometers) up the coast from Charleston. In North Carolina, the storm downed bushes and energy strains.

Associated Press reporters Rebecca Santana in Ft. Myers; Brendan Farrington and Anthony Izaguirre in Tallahassee; David Fischer in Miami; Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Va.; and Richard Lardner in Washington contributed to this report.

For extra AP protection of Hurricane Ian: apnews.com/hub/hurricanes

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