Emergency services worked to rescue stranded Florida citizens on Thursday as Hurricane Ian turned its attention to the Carolinas after wreaking havoc along Florida’s coast, leaving behind lethal flooding, fallen power lines, and extensive damage.
One of the most powerful storms to ever hit the U.S. mainland, Ian swamped communities along the Gulf Coast and cut electricity to millions before slamming into the Atlantic Ocean and strengthening before making another predicted impact in South Carolina on Friday.
The number of fatalities in Florida remained unknown despite inconsistent stories of tragedies.
Ian may end up being the worst in state history, according to President Joe Biden, who was speaking at FEMA’s headquarters in Washington.
‘The numbers are still unclear, but we’re hearing early reports of what may be substantial loss of life,’ Biden said.
A sheriff’s department representative in hard-hit Charlotte County acknowledged numerous deaths but did not provide an exact count. According to a sheriff’s spokesperson, authorities in Sarasota County were looking into two probable storm-related deaths.
Authorities said that a 72-year-old man from Deltona in central Florida passed away after going outside to drain his pool during the storm.
In Florida, there are still more than 2.6 million households and businesses without electricity. More than 900,000 people live in Lee and Charlotte counties, which according to governor Ron DeSantis are ‘essentially off the grid.’