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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Hurricane Ian left a path of destruction throughout southwest Florida, trapping folks in flooded properties, damaging the roof of a hospital intensive care unit and knocking out energy to 2 million folks earlier than concentrating on the Atlantic coast.
One of the highly effective hurricanes to ever hit america crossed the Florida peninsula on the night time of September 28, threatening catastrophic flooding inland, the Nationwide Hurricane Heart has warned.
In Port Charlotte, alongside Florida’s Gulf Coast, storm surge flooded a lower-level emergency room at a hospital at the same time as excessive winds ripped off a part of the roof of its intensive care unit , based on a health care provider who works there.
Water gushed over the ICU, forcing employees to evacuate the hospital’s sickest sufferers — a few of whom had been on ventilators — to different flooring, mentioned Dr. Birgit Bodine of HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital. . Employees members used towels and plastic bins to try to mop up the soggy mess.
Containers and clothes absorb floodwaters at HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital in Port Charlotte, Fla. (Dr. Birgit Bodine by way of Related Press)
The medium-sized hospital spans 4 flooring, however sufferers have solely been pressured to 2 as a result of harm. Bodine deliberate to spend the night time there in case folks injured by the storm arrived and wanted assist.
“So long as our sufferers are doing effectively and nobody finally ends up dying or having a foul end result, that is what issues,” Bodine mentioned.
Regulation enforcement officers in close by Fort Myers have acquired calls from folks trapped in flooded properties or frightened family. Pleas had been additionally posted on social media websites, some with video exhibiting debris-covered water lapping in the direction of the eaves of properties.
A Naples, Florida firefighter hauls tools in excessive water close to his flooded fireplace station. (Naples Hearth Division by way of Related Press)
Pittsburgh reporter Brittany Hailer contacted rescuers about her mom in North Fort Myers, whose dwelling was flooded in 5 ft of water.
“We do not know when the water will drop. We do not understand how they’ll depart, their automobiles are exhausted,” Hailer mentioned. “His solely manner out is on a ship.”
Hurricane Ian turned streets into rivers and downed bushes because it slammed into southwest Florida on September 28 with winds of 150 mph, pushing up a wall of storm surge. Ian’s energy on landfall was Class 4 and tied it to the fifth strongest hurricane, measured by wind velocity, to ever hit america.
Ian fell arduous on the finish of September 28 in Class 1 with 90 mph winds as he moved overland. Nonetheless, storm surges of as much as 6 ft had been anticipated throughout the state in northeast Florida on September 29.
And hurricane-force winds had been anticipated in central Florida via early September 29 with widespread and catastrophic flooding doubtless, the Miami-based hurricane middle mentioned.
No deaths had been reported in america by Ian as of the top of September 28. However a ship carrying Cuban migrants sank on September 28 in stormy climate east of Key West.
Zuram Rodriguez surveys the harm round his cellular dwelling in Davie, Florida. (Joe Cavaretta/South Florida Solar-Sentinel by way of Related Press)
The US Coast Guard launched a search and rescue mission for 23 folks and managed to seek out three survivors about two miles south of the Florida Keys, officers mentioned. 4 different Cubans swam to Inventory Island, simply east of Key West, US Border Patrol mentioned. Air crews continued to seek for probably 20 remaining migrants.
The storm had already hit Cuba, killing two folks and destroying the nation’s energy grid.
The attention of the hurricane made landfall close to Cayo Costa, a barrier island simply west of closely populated Fort Myers. Because it approached, water flowed out of Tampa Bay.
Greater than 2 million properties and companies in Florida have been left with out energy, based on PowerOutage.us. Virtually all properties and companies in three counties had been with out energy.
Charlotte County Sheriff Bull Prummell, simply north of Fort Myers, introduced a curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. “for very important functions”, saying violators might face misdemeanor prices. second diploma.
“I’m enacting this curfew as a technique to shield folks and property in Charlotte County,” Prummell mentioned.
The Climate Underground predicted the storm would go close to Daytona Seaside and transfer into the Atlantic earlier than making landfall in South Carolina on September 30.
Greater than 2 million electrical prospects are actually with out electrical energy #Florida as a result of #HurricaneIan.
[2022-09-28 10:15 PM EDT]https://t.co/8cAFt3zGJe #Energy outage pic.twitter.com/22uynLwbpi
— PowerOutage.us (@PowerOutage_us) September 29, 2022
The governors of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia have all declared precautionary states of emergency. Forecasters predicted that Ian would flip towards these states as a tropical storm, doubtless dumping extra torrential rains over the weekend.
Related Press contributors embody Christina Mesquita in Havana, Cuba; Cody Jackson and Adriana Gomez Licon in Tampa, Fla.; Freida Frisaro in Miami; Anthony Izaguirre in Tallahassee, Florida; Mike Schneider in Orlando, Florida; Seth Borenstein and Aamer Madhani in Washington; Bobby Caina Calvan in New York; Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus, Ohio; Jay Reeves in Birmingham, Alabama and Alina Hartounian in Phoenix, Arizona.
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