Dangers continue and worsen in some areas after Hurricane Ian – NBC Chicago

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Dangers continue and worsen in some areas after Hurricane Ian - NBC Chicago
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People were kayaking on passable streets a day or two earlier. Hundreds of thousands without electricity. National Guard helicopters are carrying out rescue missions to residents still stranded on Florida’s barrier islands.

Days after Hurricane Ian carved a path of destruction from Florida to the Carolinas, the dangers persisted and even worsened in some places. It was clear that the road to recovery from this monstrous storm would be long and painful.

And Ian still wasn’t finished. The storm showered Virginia with rain on Sunday, and officials warned of the risk of severe flooding along its coast, starting Monday night.

Ian’s remnants moved offshore and formed a northeast that is expected to pile even more water into an already flooded Chesapeake Bay and threatens to cause the region’s largest tidal flood event. from Hampton Roads in Virginia for the past 10 to 15 years, said National Weather Service meteorologist Cody Poche.

The island town of Chincoteague declared a state of emergency on Sunday and urged residents in certain areas to evacuate. The east coast and the northern part of the Outer Banks of North Carolina were also likely to be affected.

At least 87 people have been confirmed dead: 83 in Florida, four in North Carolina, according to NBC News.

With the death toll rising, Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the federal government stands ready to help in a big way, focusing first on victims in Florida, who bore the brunt of one of the strongest storms to make landfall. in the USA. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden plan to visit the state on Wednesday.

Flooded roads and washed away bridges to barrier islands have left many people isolated amid limited cell phone service and a lack of basic amenities such as water, electricity and internet. Officials have warned that the situation in many areas is unlikely to improve for several days as the rain that has fallen has nowhere to go as rivers overflow.

Fewer than 700,000 homes and businesses in Florida were still without power Sunday night, down from a peak of 2.6 million.

Hurricane Ian causes power outages across Florida

As Hurricane Ian makes landfall in Florida, power outages are expected to increase across the state. The Category 4 hurricane brought catastrophic winds and flooding to the state.

Criswell told “Fox News Sunday” that the federal government, including the Coast Guard and the Department of Defense, had put in place “the greatest amount of search and rescue assets that I think we’ve ever put in place. in place before”.

Still, recovery will take time, said Criswell, who traveled to the state on Friday and Saturday to assess the damage and speak to survivors. She warned that dangers remain with downed power lines in standing water.

More than 1,600 people have been rescued statewide, according to the Florida Emergency Management Agency.

Rescue missions were underway, particularly in Florida’s barrier islands, which were cut off from the mainland when storm surges destroyed causeways and bridges.

The state will build a temporary traffic crossing for the largest, Pine Island, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said Sunday, adding that an allocation had been approved for the Department of Transportation to build it this week and that construction could start as early as Monday.

“It won’t be a full bridge, you’ll probably have to cross it at 5 miles per hour or something, but it will at least allow people to get in and out of the island with their vehicles,” he said. said the governor. said at a press conference.

Coastguard, municipal and private crews have used helicopters, boats and even jet skis to evacuate people over the past few days.

In rural Seminole County, north of Orlando, residents donned waders, boots and insect repellent to paddle to their flooded homes on Sunday.

Florida’s governor provided an update on the state’s response to Hurricane Ian on Saturday. He pointed out that there have been more than 1,100 rescues and reflected the support Florida has received.

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

“I think it’s going to get worse because all that water has to get to the lake,” Bertat said, pointing to water flooding a nearby road. “With the ground saturated, this whole swamp is full and it just can’t take any more water. It doesn’t seem to be going down.”

Elsewhere, power remained knocked out to at least half of South Carolina’s Pawleys Island, a beach community about 115 miles up the coast from Charleston. In North Carolina, the storm downed trees and power lines.

NBC Chicago

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