Nearly 100 people reported dead in US five days laterHit Florida’s west coast as a powerful Category 4 storm. Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno announced on Monday that 54 deaths have now been confirmed in that county, bringing the total death toll in Florida to at least 94.
Four storm-related deaths have previously been reported in North Carolina, bringing the US toll to at least 98.
The CBS News figure is higher than the state’s official count because, in some cases, county officials are more likely to confirm deaths than state officials.
Before the storm hit Florida, the storm killed at least three people in Cuba, where itabout the island.
Days after Ian charted a path of destruction from Florida to the Carolinas, the dangers persisted and even worsened in places. It was clear that the road to recovery from this monster storm will be long and painful.
And Ian still wasn’t ready. The storm swept Virginia with rain on Sunday, and officials warned Monday that major flooding was possible along the coast.
Ian’s remains moved offshore, forming a northeastern area that was expected to accumulate even more water in an already-flooded Chesapeake Bay and threatened to cause the most significant tidal flooding in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia in the past 10 to 15 years. years, said Cody Poche, a National Weather Service meteorologist. Norfolk and Virginia Beach have declared a state of emergency.
Other parts of the Atlantic coast may see higher tides than usual. The island town of Chincoteague in Virginia declared a state of emergency on Sunday and strongly advised residents in certain areas to evacuate. The eastern bank and northern part of North Carolina’s Outer Banks would likely also be affected.
With the death toll rising, Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Deanne Criswell said the federal government was poised to help in a huge way, targeting victims first in Florida, which was hit hardest by one of the strongest storms. to land in the United States. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden plan to visit the state on Wednesday.
Flooded roads and washed-out bridges to barrier islands left many people isolated amid limited cell phone service and a lack of basic services such as water, electricity and internet. Officials warned that the situation in many areas is not expected to improve in the coming days as the waterways overflow and the rain that fell has nowhere to go.
About 600,000 Florida homes and businesses were still without electricity Monday morning, down from a peak of 2.6 million.
The current goal is to restore power by Sunday for customers whose power lines and other electrical infrastructure are still intact, Kevin Guthrie, director of Florida’s Department of Emergency Management, said Monday. It does not include houses or areas where infrastructure needs to be rebuilt.
More than 1,600 people have been rescued statewide, according to the Florida Emergency Response Agency.
Rescue missions were underway, especially to barrier islands near Fort Myers in southwest Florida, which were cut off from the mainland when storm surges destroyed roads and bridges.
The state will build a temporary thoroughfare 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.
“It won’t be a full bridge, you’ll probably have to cross it at 5 miles per hour or something, but at least it will let people come in and out of the island with their vehicles,” the governor said. said at a press conference.
In Virginia, the US Navy postponed the first-ever deployment of the USS Gerald R. Ford, the nation’s most advanced aircraft carrier, according to a statement from the Navy’s 2nd Fleet. The aircraft carrier and other US ships were due to leave Norfolk on Monday for training exercises in the Atlantic with ships from other NATO countries.
Coast Guard, municipal and private crews have used helicopters, boats and even jet skis to evacuate people in recent days.
In rural Seminole County, north of Orlando, residents on Sunday donned waders, boots and bug spray to paddle to their flooded homes.
Ben Bertat found 4 inches of water in his house at Lake Harney after kayaking there.
“I think it will get worse because all this water has to go to the lake,” Bertat said, pointing to the water overflowing a nearby road. “With soil saturation, this whole swamp is full and it just can’t handle any more water. It doesn’t look like it’s going to get any lower.”