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Hurricane Ian: Seek for survivors continues as loss of life toll rises | Climate Information


At the least 31 individuals are confirmed useless, together with 27 individuals in Florida principally from drowning.

Rescuers looked for survivors among the many ruins of Florida’s flooded houses from Hurricane Ian whereas authorities in South Carolina started assessing harm from its strike.

Now weakened to a post-tropical cyclone, Ian was anticipated to maneuver throughout central North Carolina on Saturday then transfer into Virginia and New York.

At the least 31 individuals have been confirmed useless, together with 27 individuals in Florida, principally from drowning however others from the storm’s tragic aftereffects. An aged couple died after their oxygen machines shut off once they misplaced energy, authorities stated.

In the meantime, distraught residents waded by way of knee-high water, salvaging what possessions they might from their flooded houses and loading them onto rafts and canoes.

“I wish to sit within the nook and cry. I don’t know what else to do,” Stevie Scuderi stated after shuffling by way of her principally destroyed Fort Myers residence, the mud in her kitchen clinging to her purple sandals.

The highly effective storm, one of many strongest and costliest hurricanes to ever hit the US, terrorised tens of millions of individuals for a lot of the week, battering western Cuba earlier than raking throughout Florida from the nice and cozy waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, the place it mustered sufficient power for a last assault on South Carolina.

In South Carolina, Ian’s centre got here ashore close to Georgetown, a small neighborhood alongside the Winyah Bay 95km (60miles) north of historic Charleston. The storm washed away components of 4 piers alongside the coast, together with two linked to the favored vacationer city of Myrtle Seashore.

The storm’s winds have been a lot weaker than throughout Ian’s landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast earlier within the week. Authorities and volunteers there have been nonetheless assessing the harm as shocked residents tried to make sense of what they only lived by way of.

Anthony Rivera, 25, stated he needed to climb by way of the window of his first-floor residence throughout the storm to hold his grandmother and girlfriend to the second ground. As they hurried to flee the rising water, the storm surge washed a ship proper up subsequent to his residence.

“That’s the scariest factor on this planet as a result of I can’t cease no boat,” he stated. “I’m not Superman.”

Hurricane Ian
The official loss of life toll climbed with authorities warning it will seemingly rise a lot larger as soon as crews made a extra complete sweep of the harm [Joe Raedle/Getty/AFP]

Pawleys Island, a seashore neighborhood about 117km (73 miles) up South Carolina’s coast from Charleston, was among the many locations hardest hit by Ian.

Eddie Wilder, who has been coming to Pawleys Island for greater than six many years, stated the storm was “insane to observe”. He stated waves as excessive as 7.6 metres (25 ft) washed away the pier, simply two doorways down from his residence.

“We watched it hit the pier and noticed the pier disappear,” stated Wilder. “I’ve seen fairly a number of storms and this one was wild … We had a front-row seat.”

Regardless that Ian has lengthy handed over Florida, new issues continued to come up. A 22-km (14-mile) stretch of Interstate 75 was closed in each instructions within the Port Charlotte space due to the huge quantity of water swelling the Myakka River.

Additional southeast, the Peace River was additionally at a significant flood stage early Saturday in Polk, Hardee and DeSoto counties.

The official loss of life toll climbed with authorities warning it will seemingly rise a lot larger as soon as crews made a extra complete sweep of the harm.

Hurricane Ian has seemingly precipitated “nicely over $100bn’’ in harm, together with $63bn in privately insured losses, based on the catastrophe modelling agency Karen Clark & Co. If these numbers are borne out, that might make Ian a minimum of the fourth-costliest hurricane in US historical past.

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