Here’s What Hurricane Ian Hath Wrought—and It’s Not Over Yet - DMT NEWS

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Here’s What Hurricane Ian Hath Wrought—and It’s Not Over Yet

Hurricane Ian hit Florida on Wednesday as a category 4 hurricane, battering the Sunshine State with up to 150 mph winds, leaving more than 2.6 million people without power, and leading one sheriff to speculate that the storm’s ultimate death toll could be in the hundreds. 

The hurricane made landfall Wednesday in southwest Florida near the island of Cayo Costa. It was the strongest hurricane to hit the state’s western coast since Hurricane Charley in 2004, according to CNN

Fort Myers, near Cape Coral, saw a powerful storm surge that leveled many of the city’s homes and businesses, with some reports of houses floating away. 

In Naples, a downed power line sparked a fire. 

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno told Good Morning America on Thursday that he “definitely knows” that at least hundreds of people died due to the hurricane, though Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called that claim “unconfirmed.” 

Marceno’s office declined to evacuate hundreds of inmates at a jail in downtown Fort Myers, in an area where officials had ordered mandatory evacuations Tuesday, the Miami New Times reported. The Lee County Sheriff’s Office said late Wednesday that inmates at this jail and another were “relocated within the main jail to a higher floor.” 

More than 2.6 million people in Florida were without power Thursday morning, according to, which tracks outages nationwide. 

The hurricane progressively weakened after making landfall, and as of Thursday had been downgraded to a tropical storm. But during a Thursday press conference, DeSantis warned of “basically a 500-year flood event” affecting central Florida and potentially the northern part of the state.

Though the hurricane was initially feared to be the worst to hit the Tampa area in more than 100 years, the area was largely spared from the worst of Ian. In St. Petersburg, flamingos at the city’s Sunken Gardens botanical garden were temporarily evacuated to a bathroom.

The DeSantis administration and the White House, which have frequently been at odds over major political issues in the past two years, have been in cooperation on the hurricane response, both DeSantis and Biden administration officials have said. On Thursday, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden and DeSantis had talked on the phone Thursday morning. 

“The President told the Governor he is sending his FEMA Administrator to Florida tomorrow to check in on response efforts and see where additional support is needed,” Jean-Pierre said in a statement. “The President and Governor committed to continued close coordination.”

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via https://www.DMT.NEWS

Paul Blest, Khareem Sudlow