Dozens dead from Ian, one of strongest, costliest U.S. storms

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

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

In South Carolina, Ian’s middle got here ashore close to Georgetown, a small neighborhood alongside the Winyah Bay about 60 miles north of historic Charleston. The storm washed away elements of 4 piers alongside the coast, together with two related to the favored vacationer city of Myrtle Seashore.

The storm’s winds have been a lot weaker Friday 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, mentioned he needed to climb by way of the window of his first ground condo throughout the storm to hold his grandmother and girlfriend to the second ground. As they hurried to flee the rising water, the storm surge had washed a ship proper up subsequent to his condo.

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

Although Ian has lengthy handed over Florida, new issues continued to come up. A 14-mile stretch of Interstate 75 was closed late Friday in each instructions within the Port Charlotte space due to the large mount of water swelling the Myakka River.

The official dying toll climbed all through the day on Friday, with authorities warning it might possible rise a lot increased as soon as crews made a extra complete sweep of the harm. Searches have been geared toward emergency rescues and preliminary assessments, Florida Division of Emergency Administration Director Kevin Guthrie mentioned. He described one submerged house for instance.

“The water was up over the rooftop, proper, however we had a Coast Guard rescue swimmer swim down into it and he may establish that it gave the impression to be human stays. We have no idea precisely what number of,” Guthrie mentioned.

The useless included a 68-year-old lady swept into the ocean by a wave and a 67-year-old man who who fell into rising water inside his house whereas awaiting rescue.

Authorities additionally mentioned a 22-year-old lady died after an ATV rollover from a street washout and a 71-year-old man suffered a deadly fall from a rooftop whereas placing up rain shutters. One other three folks died in Cuba earlier within the week.

Hurricane Ian has possible triggered “properly over $100 billion’’ in harm, together with $63 billion in privately insured losses, in accordance with the catastrophe modeling agency Karen Clark & Co., which usually points flash disaster estimates. If these numbers are borne out, that may make Ian no less than the fourth costliest hurricane in U.S. historical past.

Within the Sarasota suburb of North Level, Florida, residents of the Nation Membership Ridge subdivision waded by way of waterlogged streets Friday. John Chihil solemnly towed a canoe and one other small boat by way of the ankle-deep water.

“There’s actually not a lot to really feel. It’s an act of God, you understand?” he mentioned. “I imply, that’s all you are able to do is pray and hope for a greater day tomorrow.”

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