US Floating cars, submerged buildings and no power: Florida residents describe what Hurricane Ian looks like
Tropical Storm Ian still pounding Florida in '500-year flooding event'; 2.6M without power: Live updates
A section of the Sanibel Causeway collapsed into San Carlos Bay, cutting off access to the barrier island. Tropical Storm Ian updates.The death toll was rising and residents desperately sought rescue Thursday as historically powerful Hurricane Ian, now a tropical storm, hammered Florida with heavy rain and strong winds, one of the strongest systems in U.S. history.
in Naples, Florida, on Wednesday afternoon, Lauren Barlow watched as water crept in through her home’s door and began rising across the first floor.
“Cars are floating down our street,” Barlow, who was sheltering on the upper level of the house, told CNN. “Our garage completely flooded, frying our cars. The water then started to go through the door inside and is now quickly rising up the steps flooding the first floor.”
Nearby, the city’s fire rescue authoritieson Facebook Wednesday evening walking through cold, chest-deep water as they rescued an individual from the rushing waters.
which made landfall as a a little after 3 p.m. Wednesday along Florida’s southwestern coast, has been battering coastal communities for hours. Its are blowing away debris, ripping down trees, setting off alarms and knocking out power lines. The life-threatening storm surge that forecasters have warned of has flooded homes and neighborhoods and already pushed water levels in some areas to record highs. Waters in Fort Myers are higher than they’ve ever been observed since officials began recording measurements in 1965.
Hurricane Ian lashes Cuba, aims at Florida as possible Cat 4
HAVANA (AP) — A strengthening Hurricane Ian’s rain and winds lashed Cuba’s western tip, where authorities have evacuated 50,000 people, as it roared on a path that could see it hit Florida’s west coast as a Category 4 hurricane. © Provided by Associated Press Workers remove a boat from the water in the bay of Havana, Cuba, Monday, Sept. 26, 2022. Hurricane Ian was growing stronger as it approached the western tip of Cuba on a track to hit the west coast of Florida as a major hurricane as early as Wednesday.
John Iverson, a Fort Myers resident, told CNN on Wednesday he would have evacuated if he realized just how hard the area would be hit. Iverson was taking shelter at a friend’s house Wednesday afternoon, but even there, the first floor was mostly under water, he told CNN. The cars in the home’s garage and the cars in his friend’s front yard were completely submerged too, he said.
Iverson added the house he was taking shelter in has multiple levels, so he is able to stay dry.
John Iverson was sheltering at a friend's house while the storm unleashed violent winds and flooding. - John Iverson
Marcel Chartier, a manager at DiamondHead Beach Resort, was taking shelter at the hotel Wednesday evening as the storm pummeled the Fort Myers area, sweeping away cars and everything else in its path. Across the street, an entire building was almost entirely under water, Chartier told CNN.
Pine Island residents recount horror, fear as Ian bore down
PINE ISLAND, Fla. (AP) — Paramedics and volunteers with a group that rescues people after natural disasters went door to door Saturday on Florida's devastated Pine Island, offering to evacuate residents who spoke of the terror of riding out Hurricane Ian in flooded homes and howling winds. The largest barrier island off Florida’s Gulf Coast, Pine Island has been largely cut off from the outside world. Ian heavily damaged the only bridge to the island, leaving it only reachable by boat or air. For many, the volunteers from the non-profit Medic Corps were the first people they have seen from outside the island in days.
“Winds are extremely strong, we can’t see anything out the windows,” Chartier said. “The water is very high and approaching the roof of the building across the street.”
Local and state officials earlier this week issued mandatory evacuations for more than 1.75 million people across several southwestern counties including Lee, Pinellas, Sarasota and Hillsborough counties. For those who stayed behind, local authorities warned the best practice was to shelter in place, and not venture out.
Across Florida, more than 1.3 million people were without power Wednesday evening as the storm roared through the state, according to
CNN’s AnneClaire Stapleton contributed to this report.
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'It is going to be emotional': Residents of Florida island cut off from the mainland by Hurricane Ian are set to return to survey 'unlivable' homes .
A week after Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida, residents of one of its barrier islands will be allowed to return to view their homes Wednesday for the first time since the storm devastated the once tranquil community. Ian wiped out a portion of the causeway connecting Sanibel Island to the mainland, setting the stage for days of evacuations by air and sea as crews searched for those who were stranded. Sanibel Island residents returning to survey the damage to their community are in for a shock, said City Manager Dana Souza.