Even though Hurricane Ian left Florida on Thursday, more than two million individuals are still without power and some airports in the hardest-hit areas remain closed.
Some airports in the state are scheduled to reopen on Friday, including those in Lee County and Fort Myers, which bore the brunt of the storm. However, airport operations at Southwest Florida International Airport remain suspended as authorities continue to assess damage to the airport’s facilities and property.
As of the early hours of Friday morning, O’Hare Airport had cancelled 56 flights to and from places in the southeast. More than 2,000 domestic flights were canceled Thursday, and the Federal Aviation Administration anticipates that the storm will continue to block airports and disrupt flights.
As Ian, which transitioned from a hurricane to a tropical storm and back to a hurricane, continues its northeastward path, the governors of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia have all proclaimed states of emergency in advance.
Between Murrels Inlet and Edisto Beach, a large portion of the South Carolina coastline is under a hurricane watch, with storm surges of 4 to 7 feet possible.
Up to 6 to 10 inches of rain are predicted in Charleston before the storm’s remnants finally move off to the north and west. Heavy precipitation is expected throughout the state, but Charleston may be struck the hardest.
Forecast models indicate that parts of North Carolina, including Charlotte, might get severe rainfall as the storm moves northward.
The storm is predicted to reach the mid-Atlantic states on Saturday, affecting West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania.
Hurricane Ian wreaks havoc on Lee County and Fort Myers.
On the road leading to Fort Myers Beach, vehicles have been abandoned after their engines were inundated by Hurricane Ian’s storm surge and their drivers were unable to continue. The road is littered with broken trees, boat trailers, and other debris.
Even worse is the situation in the beachfront tourist town, which was largely leveled by the Category 4 hurricane’s tremendous winds and storm surge.
The barrier islands along the southwest coast of Florida, renowned for their seashells, fishing, and laid-back lifestyle, were severely damaged by Hurricane Ian when it made landfall on Wednesday. Sanibel and Captiva are both cut off from vehicular access due to the partial collapse of the sole bridge to the mainland. Pine Island was also devastated.
Thursday, at the Cottage Point mobile home park in Fort Myers Beach, William Goodison and his son Kurtis pushed two trash cans containing his last items through knee-deep water. Portable air conditioning unit A few tools. And a baseball bat.
However, his furnishings and family heirlooms were destroyed when a 5-foot (1.5-meter) flood surge swept through the 60-home neighborhood of retirees and workers. Goodison’s 11-year-old single-wide trailer, for which he had only one payment remaining, was destroyed. Due to the location, he was unable to obtain insurance.
Carpenter Goodison stated, “I own the property, but I will have to scrap the trailer.” “Now to rebuild,” he replied, his voice falling off at the notion. However, you must have a place to live.
Goodison weathered the storm at Kurtis’ house in the interior. Otherwise, he would be dead, he said.
He stated, “I have no idea how somebody could have survived in there.”
Goodison stated that he lost several family photographs and mementos. “We will have to begin constructing new ones,” he said.
At a nearby strip mall, Darbana Patel and her family were wrapping yellow caution tape around the 10-foot (3-meter) mound that formerly housed their gas station’s pumping station. The wooden awning that shielded clients from weather and covered the pumps had collapsed, shattering the pumps. The store’s inside roof had also fallen. The business, which the family has owned for two years, is insured, but she believes it is a total loss.
When Patel returned at the store on Thursday, she was shocked to find it reduced to twisted metal and a pile of wood.
She remarked, “I was like, ‘Where is my store?'” The roofs of the other six stores in the strip mall appeared to have been severely damaged, and a motor home in the parking lot was on its side.
At the Get Away Marina, a dozen huge boats measuring up to 48 feet (14 meters) in length were carried over the parking lot and a four-lane road before being deposited in a mangrove preserve by the storm surge. The surge also demolished the office walls and the second story of the marina’s office building.
Robert Leisure, who has owned the marina for two years, stated, “The storm must have been intense.” He stated that he and his colleagues had spent a great deal of time landscaping the property and enhancing the docks, which are now mostly gone.
“There was a Tiki hut over there,” he continued, indicating a vacant area. “It was adorable,” he said of his company, “but no longer.” “But where do you begin?” he pondered for a time as he assessed the rebuilding task that lay before.
While he was speaking, charter fishing captain Larry Conley approached Leisure and inquired if he had seen his 24-foot (7.3-meter) boat.
“No, but it must be over there somewhere,” answered Leisure, indicating the mangroves.
Conley stated that he has boat insurance, but it is insufficient because he needs to take anglers out. “This is how I survive and pay my bills,” he stated.
Eric Siefert, a 62-year-old Sanibel resident, was among the dozens of residents evacuated from the barrier island on Thursday. On small boats, rescue personnel were transporting equipment to the island and bringing back approximately six people.
“I believed that my concrete home with hurricane shutters and storm-grade windows would withstand the storm,” Siefert said. “This was true for the most part. We just didn’t believe we’d get an 18-foot storm surge.”
He estimated that Siefert’s residence is more than a block from the ocean and around 6 feet (2 meters) above sea level. The living space in his raised home is around 10 feet (3 meters) above the ground.
The water eventually rose to roughly a foot beyond the base of Siefert’s brand-new storm sliding doors, with only about an inch of water coming inside the house, according to Siefert. Despite the house remaining relatively dry, Siefert stated that he lifted his crippled wife onto a dresser out of fear and uncertainty.
Siefert stated, “It was literally like being in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico.” “The water crossed multiple football fields and an entire half-block, and it was coming straight at us, rising, and refusing to stop rising.”