NAfter Hurricane Ian, the death toll in Florida and North Carolina has risen to at least 62; Florida authorities said Sunday said 58 people died, and North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said four died as a result of the storm. In Lee County, Florida alone, where the magnitude four hurricane hit the mainland last Wednesday, police said 42 people died. President Joe Biden first planned to travel Monday to Puerto Rico, where Hurricane Monica left heavy destruction on September 16, and personally inspect the damage in Florida on Wednesday.
“This storm had a severe impact throughout Florida,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in his recent statement Sunday in North Port. However, after extensive power failures immediately after the hurricane, the power supply has largely been restored. According to the authorities, more than 620,000 households in the state were still without power on Sunday.
Were evacuations ordered too late?
Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said on ABC on Sunday that the damage was more severe than anything the state had ever known. “Fort Myers Beach no longer exists. It has to be rebuilt.” A piece of Florida was lost that cannot be brought back. The town on Estero Island, off the southwest coast of Florida, had been rendered largely uninhabitable by Ian. President Biden also said over the weekend that the devastation caused by Hurricane Ian was “probably among the worst in the country’s history”.
Before the storm weakened, Ian hit the South Carolina coast on Friday with a hurricane force of one out of five; Because of the storm’s foothills, there was heavy rain down to the east coast over the weekend. In parts of Lee County, the worst-hit region, buildings were leveled, streets were flooded and entire neighborhoods were washed away by the water. There is now a debate over whether the evacuations were ordered too late. That had only happened on Tuesday, less than 24 hours before the hurricane hit the coast. Gov. DeSantis said over the weekend the authorities were not guilty. Because the hurricane had changed its route, it had only recently become known that it would hit the city of Fort Myers rather than Tampa.
After the hurricane, possible insufficient building standards are also discussed. Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida called for improved building codes on CBS on Sunday. The mayor of the hard-hit city of Fort Myers, Kevin Anderson, disagreed: the regulations were sufficient. The newly built homes weathered the storm, and only older homes suffered major damage.