Storm Ian lashes South Carolina as U.S. death toll rises to 17; hard-hit Florida starts cleanup | CBC News (2023)

Storm Ian lashes South Carolina as U.S. death toll rises to 17; hard-hit Florida starts cleanup | CBC News (1)

Hurricane Ian leaves Florida residents stranded in flooded homes

8 months ago

Duration 3:16

Two days after Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida, the U.S. Coast Guard is continuing to rescue people from flooded homes as stunned residents begin a daunting clean-up job.

A revived Hurricane Ian pounded coastal South Carolina on Friday, ripping apart piers and flooding streets after the ferocious storm caused catastrophic damage in Florida, trapping thousands in their homes and leaving at least 17 people dead.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said the deaths included a 22-year-old woman who was ejected from an ATV rollover on Friday because of a road washout in Manatee County and a 71-year-old man who died of head injuries when he fell off a roof while putting up rain shutters on Wednesday. Many of the other deaths involved people who drowned, including a 68-year-old woman who was swept into the ocean by a wave.

(Video) BREAKING: Hurricane Ian Makes Landfall In Florida As Category 4 Storm | NBC News

Another three people died in Cuba as the storm made its way north earlier in the weekas the storm churned northward. The death toll was expected to increase substantially once emergency officials have an opportunity to search many of the hardest-hit areas.

Ian's centre came ashore near Georgetown with much weaker winds than when it crossed Florida's Gulf Coast on Wednesday as one of the strongest storms to ever hit the U.S. As it moved across South Carolina, Ian dropped from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone.

Sheets of rain whipped trees and power lines and left many areas on Charleston's downtown peninsula under water. A popular pier in the beach community of Pawleys Island collapsed and floated away. In Myrtle Beach, waves pushed against the boardwalk tourist area.

WATCH | An aerial view of Ian's destructive path:

Storm Ian lashes South Carolina as U.S. death toll rises to 17; hard-hit Florida starts cleanup | CBC News (2)

Aerial footage from Florida shows Hurricane Ian destruction

8 months ago

(Video) NOW Tonight with Joshua Johnson - Sept. 29 | NBC News NOW

Duration 1:50

Two days after Hurricane Ian ripped through Florida's Gulf Coast, overhead footage shows the destruction left behind.

Ian left a broad swath of destruction after it came ashore Wednesday on Florida's Gulf Coast as one of the strongest storms ever to hit the U.S. The storm flooded areas on both of Florida's coasts, tore homes from their slabs, demolished beachfront businesses and left more than two million people without power.

Rescue crews piloted boats and waded through thestreets Thursday to save thousands of people trapped amid flooded homes and shattered buildings .

  • Canadians ride out Hurricane Ian, amid worries for others living in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said rescue crews have gone door-to-door to more than 3,000 homes in the hardest-hit areas.

"There's really been a Herculean effort," he said Friday during a news conference in Tallahassee.

WATCH |Florida officials saysIan cleanups could take years:

Storm Ian lashes South Carolina as U.S. death toll rises to 17; hard-hit Florida starts cleanup | CBC News (3)

Florida cleans up after Hurricane Ian, officials say it could take years to rebuild

8 months ago

Duration 4:20

(Video) The National for Monday September 11, 2017 : Irma's aftermath, fake degrees, David Frum
Hurricane Ian has resurged in size as it barrels towards South Carolina. The extent of damage in Florida, where Ian first came ashore on Wednesday as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S. mainland, became more apparent on Thursday as emergency crews began reaching stranded residents.

Climate change added at least 10 per cent more rain to Hurricane Ian, according to a study prepared immediately after the storm, said its co-author, climate scientist Michael Wehnerof the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Among those killed were an 80-year-old woman and a 94-year-old man who relied on oxygen machines that stopped working amid power outages, as well as a a 67-year-old man who was waiting to be rescued died after falling into rising water inside his home, authorities said.

Officials fear the death toll could rise substantially, given the wide territory swamped by the storm.

Storm Ian lashes South Carolina as U.S. death toll rises to 17; hard-hit Florida starts cleanup | CBC News (4)

Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said responders have focused so far on "hasty" searches, aimed at emergency rescues and initial assessments, which will be followed by two additional waves of searches. Initial responders who come across possible remains are leaving them without confirming, he said Friday, describing as an example the case of a submerged home.

"The water was up over the rooftop, right, but we had a Coast Guard rescue swimmer swim down into it and he could identify that it appeared to be human remains. We do not know exactly how many," Guthrie said.

'There's water everywhere'

Desperate to locate and rescue their loved ones, social media users shared phone numbers, addresses and photos of their family members and friends online for anyone who can check on them.

Orlando residents returned to flooded homes Friday, rolling up their pants to wade through muddy, knee-high water in their streets. Friends of Ramon Rodriguez dropped off ice, bottled water and hot coffee at the entrance to his subdivision, where 10 of the 50 homes were flooded and the road looked like a lake. He had no power or food at his house, and his car was trapped by the water.

"There's water everywhere," Rodriguez said. "The situation here is pretty bad."

Storm Ian lashes South Carolina as U.S. death toll rises to 17; hard-hit Florida starts cleanup | CBC News (5)

(Video) Morning News NOW Full Broadcast - Sept. 23

University of Central Florida students living at an apartment complex near the Orlando campus arrived to retrieve possessions from their waterlogged units.

Deandra Smith, a nursing student, was asleep when others evacuated and stayed in her third-floor apartment with her dog. Other students helped get her to dry land Friday by pushing her through the flooded parking lot on a pontoon. She wasn't sure if she should go back to her parents home in South Florida or find a shelter so she can still attend classes. "I'm still trying to figure it out," she said.

The devastating storm surge destroyed many older homes on the barrier island of Sanibel, Fla., and gouged crevices into its sand dunes. Taller condominium buildings were intact but with the bottom floor blown out. Trees and utility poles were strewn everywhere.

Storm Ian lashes South Carolina as U.S. death toll rises to 17; hard-hit Florida starts cleanup | CBC News (6)

Municipal rescuers, private teams and the Coast Guard used boats and helicopters Friday to evacuate residents who stayed for the storm and then were cut off from the mainland when a causeway collapsed. Volunteers who went to the island on personal watercraft helped escort an elderly couple to an area where Coast Guard rescuers took them aboard a helicopter.

Hours after weakening to a tropical storm while crossing the Florida peninsula, Ian regained strength Thursday evening over the Atlantic. Ian made landfall in South Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 140 km/h. When it hit Florida's Gulf Coast on Wednesday, it was a powerful Category 4 hurricane with 240 km/h.

After the heaviest of the rainfall blew through Charleston, Will Shalosky examined a large elm tree in front of his house that had fallen across his downtown street.

Storm Ian lashes South Carolina as U.S. death toll rises to 17; hard-hit Florida starts cleanup | CBC News (7)

"If this tree has fallen a different way, it would be in our house," Shalosky said. "It's pretty scary, pretty jarring."

In North Carolina, heavy rain bands and winds crept into the state Friday afternoon. Gov. Roy Cooper warned residents to be vigilant, given that up to 20centimetresof rain could fall in some areas, with high winds.

"Hurricane Ian is at our door. Expect drenching rain and sustained heavy winds over most of our state," Cooper said. "Our message today is simple: Be smart and be safe."

'Months, years to rebuild'

In Washington, President Joe Biden said he was directing "every possible action be taken to save lives and get help to survivors."

"It's going to take months, years to rebuild," Biden said.

(Video) Tornado touches down in New Orleans, Russia-Ukraine & other top stories | LiveNOW from FOX

"I just want the people of Florida to know, we see what you're going through and we're with you."


Where in Florida got hit the hardest by Hurricane Ian? ›

What part of Florida did Hurricane Ian hit? Hurricane Ian barreled into Southwest Florida with 150 mph winds when it made landfall on the small barrier island of Cayo Costa.

Has anyone died in South Carolina from Hurricane Ian? ›

Deaths from Hurricane Ian reported in North Carolina

30 in South Carolina, which has reported no deaths due to the storm so far, Gov. Henry McMaster said Saturday. Though in neighboring North Carolina, five storm-related deaths have been reported. In a statement Saturday, Gov.

What level is Hurricane Ian going to be when it hits Florida? ›

Ian made landfall in southwestern Florida at category 4 intensity (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale), producing catastrophic storm surge, damaging winds, and historic freshwater flooding across much of central and northern Florida.

What was the storm surge in Florida for Hurricane Ian? ›

Hurricane Ian was no exception. Ian's surge of at least 13.8 feet along Fort Myers Beach is the highest surge ever recorded in Southwest Florida over the past 150 years. It was double the surge produced by Hurricane Charley in 2004, a smaller storm that took nearly the same track at the same intensity.

Why did Hurricane Ian hit Florida so hard? ›

Sea surface temperatures were especially warm off Florida's southwest coast, allowing the storm to pick up energy just before crashing into the state north of Fort Myers. The storm brought fierce winds, unrelenting rains and catastrophic flooding to southwest Florida.

Is Hurricane Ian the worst Florida has ever seen? ›

It makes Ian the deadliest hurricane in Florida in 87 years. The “Labor Day” Hurricane of 1935 was responsible for 409 deaths. It was a Category 5 hurricane with max winds of 185 mph and remains to be the strongest hurricane to ever make landfall in Florida.

Are people still missing from Hurricane Ian? ›

Update: The remains of the last person in Lee County who had been missing since Hurricane Ian have been found. The remains of a Florida woman who had been missing since her home was destroyed by Hurricane Ian in September were found this week, raising the toll from the state's deadliest storm in nearly 90 years to 146.

Has Ian hit land yet? ›

At 19:05 UTC, Ian made landfall on Cayo Costa with sustained winds of 150 mph (240 km/h) and an estimated central pressure of 941 mbar (27.79 inHg), becoming the first Category 4 hurricane to impact Southwest Florida since Charley in 2004, which made landfall at the same location.

How bad is Hurricane Ian in South Carolina? ›

Ian is no longer a hurricane. The storm weakened after it roared ashore yesterday again, this time in South Carolina. The damage there appears to be less dire than in Florida. But it did whip up massive waves that caused flooding and wiped out power for more than 200,000 people.

What state did Hurricane Ian hit hardest? ›

The hardest hit area was in Florida, where Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday afternoon near Cayo Costa, Florida, as a catastrophic Category 4 storm with winds of 150 mph.

What was the worst damage of Hurricane Ian? ›

In Volusia, Ian caused damage of at least $377 million, according to county government, sending backyards of coastal homes into the ocean and damaging many beach ramps and walkways. Ian ripped away a 120-foot section of the historic Flagler Beach pier.

When was the last Category 5 hurricane? ›

However, because technologies such as satellite monitoring were not available until the 1960s, some such cyclones may have remained undetected. Since 1960, 28 Atlantic hurricanes have reached Category 5, with the most recent being Hurricane Ian in 2022.

How far inland did the storm surge from Hurricane Ian go? ›

Water levels rose more than seven feet in the Caloosahatchee River that separates Cape Coral and Fort Myers, as measured some 20 miles inland from the gulf.

What is the highest storm surge ever recorded? ›

Globally, the highest storm surge ever is reported in northern Australia in 1899 during a cyclone. Although the exact height is still uncertain, it is reported to have been in excess of 40 feet. For details, see World Storm Surge Records .

How far did Surge go in Fort Myers? ›

Coastal Lee county sustained the highest storm surge, reaching 13 to 14 feet on Sanibel and Fort Myers Beach but many areas well inland experienced storm surge flooding, as well.

Was Hurricane Ian worse than hurricane? ›

Hurricane Ian is now the deadliest hurricane in the continental United States since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

What was the worst hurricane in history? ›

The most intense hurricane on record to hit the U.S. is the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. It was a Category 5 storm that hit the Florida Keys and claimed 408 lives, most of whom were World War I veterans building roads as part of a federal relief project. A train sent to evacuate them was derailed by the powerful storm.

Why was Ian so big? ›

Moist air and low wind shear both contribute to rapid intensification, and unseasonably warm water provided even more fuel than normal. Hewett says a very quiet hurricane season prior to hurricane Ian is partially to blame.

Was Hurricane Ian stronger than Katrina? ›

Ian's central pressure of 940 millibars put it in 18th-place historically — edged out by recent major hurricanes like Hurricane Harvey (937 millibars), Hurricane Ida (931 millibars), Hurricane Katrina (920 millibars) and Hurricane Michael (919 millibars).

Was Hurricane Ian worse than Michael? ›

The big picture: Ian is the strongest hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida panhandle in 2018.

Is Hurricane Ian worse than Irma? ›

Ian then moved across the state before going back into the Atlantic near Cape Canaveral. Hurricane Ian again deposits a great deal of rain but nowhere near as much as Irma. And despite passing off Jacksonville during a high tide, did far less damage than Irma.

Who was the last body found in Hurricane Ian? ›

The body of 72-year-old James 'Denny' Hurst was recovered from a sunken sailboat in Fort Myers Beach on Friday afternoon. He had been missing since Hurricane Ian, when he told his family he was going to ride out the storm on his boat. Hurst was the last person still unaccounted for after the Category 4 storm.

How many people are missing in the US? ›

Introduction. Every year, about 600,000 persons are reported missing in the United States. California tops the list with 2,133 missing persons reported, followed by Florida with 1,252 and Texas with 1,246.

How many people are missing in Florida? ›

Download Table Data
StateTotal MissingMissing (per 100k)
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What state is expected to be hit by Ian? ›

Ian Is Forecast to Hit South Carolina After Regaining Hurricane Strength - The New York Times.

Where will Ian make US landfall? ›

Ian made landfall that day near La Coloma in the Pinar Del Rio Province in western Cuba, battering the area with high winds, a life-threatening storm surge, and knocking out the island's power grid.

Where is Hurricane Ian going to hit land? ›

Hurricane Ian officially made landfall along the southwestern coast of Florida near Cayo Costa at 2:05 p.m. central (3:05 eastern) Wednesday. Cayo Costa is a state park south of Boca Grande.

Has Myrtle Beach recovered from Ian? ›

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WPDE) — Myrtle Beach area has resumed normal operations for visitors following Hurricane Ian, and the CVB has expanded its fall marketing campaign throughout October to include “Coast is Clear” messaging to reassure visitors that The Beach is open for business.

How much damage did Ian do to Myrtle Beach? ›

Hurricane Ian left Horry County with $6M+ in damage | Myrtle Beach Sun News.

What was the worst hurricane in South Carolina? ›

Hurricane Hugo, September 1989

Considered by many to be the worst hurricane in modern South Carolina history. The storm leveled parts of the Charleston area, as well as the southern Grand Strand, before cutting through the center of South Carolina, smacking the Columbia and Sumter areas, and blasting Charlotte.

Was Hurricane Ian worst than Hurricane Katrina? ›

Hurricane Ian, a deadly category 4 Atlantic hurricane that struck Florida and South Carolina earlier this year, caused the second-largest insured loss after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, according to reinsurer Swiss Re.

What part of Florida got hit hardest? ›

Fort Myers Beach, a coastal city on a barrier island, was among the areas hardest hit, with storm surges nearly reaching the roofs of some houses.

What part of Florida is safest from hurricanes? ›

Winter Springs. Since 1930, just 77 hurricanes have been recorded in Winter Springs, making it a low-risk area.

What was the deadliest natural disaster in US history? ›

The Great Galveston Hurricane. The Great Galveston Hurricane of 1900 was the single deadliest natural disaster in U.S. history. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, it resulted in a massive 6,000 – 12,000 casualties. It damaged every single building in the city.

Was Katrina the worst hurricane ever? ›

Find out how to take action here. Hurricane Katrina was the largest and 3rd strongest hurricane ever recorded to make landfall in the US. In New Orleans, the levees were designed for Category 3, but Katrina peaked at a Category 5 hurricane, with winds up to 175 mph.

Did Sanibel Island get hit by Ian? ›

This is the time of year we'd be heading south, but on September 28, 2022, Sanibel took a catastrophic hit from Hurricane Ian, a category 4 storm that damaged or destroyed homes and livelihoods and injured ecosystems. (What are hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons?)

Has there ever been a Category 6 hurricane? ›

In the midst of an unusually ferocious string of hurricanes in 2017, there was some speculation about whether storms could hit a Category 6. There is officially no such thing as a Category 6 hurricane.

What is a Category 7 hurricane? ›

A Category 7 is a hypothetical rating beyond the maximum rating of Category 5. A storm of this magnitude would most likely have winds between 215 and 245 mph, with a minimum pressure between 820-845 millibars. The storm could likely have a large wind field and a small eye.

Was Katrina a Category 5 hurricane? ›

Katrina was a large storm with a very distinct eye. Early on the 28th, Katrina reached a minimum central pressure of 902mb (at the peak) - ranking 7th lowest on record for all Atlantic Basin hurricanes - and rapidly intensified to a Category 5 (175mph).

What would happen if a Category 5 hurricane hit Miami? ›

The damage from Category 5 hurricane winds can be catastrophic, with homes and businesses destroyed, uprooted trees and railroad tracks, power outages that can last for months and a storm surge that crests over communities.

How bad was Fort Myers hit? ›

Fort Myers Beach was one of the hardest hit areas. On the town's streets, huge piles of debris are still everywhere. Many homes, too damaged to be repaired, are waiting to be demolished. But there are signs the town is starting to come back.

Was Fort Myers hit by Hurricane Ian? ›

After Hurricane Ian, Fort Myers Beach struggles to become 'a functional paradise' Six months after Hurricane Ian stormed across Southwest Florida, people in many areas are still struggling to rebuild. Fort Myers Beach was particularly hit hard by the 15-foot storm surge.

How far inland is safe from hurricanes? ›

How far inland do hurricanes go? Hurricanes can travel up to 100 – 200 miles inland. However, once a hurricane moves inland, it can no longer draw on heat energy from the ocean and weakens rapidly to a tropical storm (39 to 73 mph winds) or tropical depression.

What is the biggest storm in the universe? ›

The Great Red Spot is a persistent high-pressure region in the atmosphere of Jupiter, producing an anticyclonic storm that is the largest in the Solar System. It is the most recognizable feature on Jupiter, owing to its red-orange color whose origin is still unknown.

Has there ever been a perfect storm? ›

On October 30, 1991, the so-called “perfect storm” hits the North Atlantic producing remarkably large waves along the New England and Canadian coasts. Over the next several days, the storm spread its fury over the ocean off the coast of Canada.

How far inland can storm surge go in Florida? ›

The ocean surge and flooding that follow in its wake can do even more harm. Storm surges have been known to go 25 miles inland, submerging cars and flooding houses in its path.

Where did Hurricane Ian hit the worst? ›

The passage of Hurricane Ian through Cuba and the southeastern United States was particularly deadly. Roughly 160 people lost their lives due to the effects of the storm, most of the deaths occurring in coastal areas. Hardest hit was Florida, where 149 people died, the majority from drowning in the high storm surge.

How far inland did surge go in Florida? ›

“On the west coast of Florida specifically, the vulnerability is much higher than, say, on the east coast of Florida. And a lot of that has to do with the overall shallow depth of the water,” Fritz said. All that sent water as far as 25 miles inland.

What part of Florida is least likely to be hit by a Hurricane Ian? ›

Winter Springs. Since 1930, just 77 hurricanes have been recorded in Winter Springs, making it a low-risk area.

What city in Florida has the lowest crime rate? ›

The safest place to live in Florida is Satellite Beach. You'll feel safe living in this quaint city on Florida's space coast, which is home to just over 11,000 people. In 2021, there were only six violent crimes in Satellite Beach, easily making it the safest place to live in Florida.

Where is the safest place to live in Florida? ›

The Villages has the lowest county violent crime and property crime rate in Florida. What is the safest area to live in Florida? According to our research, the three safest cities in Florida are The Villages, Palm Coast, and Riverview.

Where is the best place to live in Florida without hurricanes? ›

  • Leesburg. Leesburg, Florida is considered one of the safest places in the state when it comes to the risk of hurricanes. ...
  • Orlando. If you're looking for hurricane-safe Florida cities, you'll want to check out O-Town. ...
  • Sanford. ...
  • Kissimmee. ...
  • Palatka. ...
  • Lake City. ...
  • Naples. ...
  • Ocala.
Nov 25, 2021

What part of Florida has never been hit by a hurricane? ›

Palatka is the safest city in Florida from hurricanes. It is a small town just inland from St. Augustine and about 60 miles south of Jacksonville, located on the St. Johns River.

How far inland is safe from hurricane? ›

Complacency and delayed action could result in needless loss of life and damage to property. Plan a safe evacuation route that will take you 20-50 miles inland. Contact your local emergency management office or Red Cross chapter and ask for the community preparedness plan.

What state gets hit by the most hurricanes? ›

1. Florida: 125 hurricanes. The most hurricane-prone state in the country is Florida, a state that has been hit with 125 hurricanes since 1851, with 40 of those being classified as major.


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