At least 21 people have died in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Kevin Guthrie, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management, revealed in a Friday morning update. Guthrie broke down the fatalities county by county during a press conference alongside Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). “So where we stand right now on fatalities is, I’ll break this down by county. We have one confirmed fatality in Polk County. We have 12 unconfirmed fatalities in Charlotte County. We have eight unconfirmed fatalities in Collier County, and we’re still processing through the situation with the hasty search that I mentioned before in Lee County,” he said. On Thursday, DeSantis identified both Lee and Charlotte counties as essentially “off the grid,” as they had the most direct impact of the then-Category 4 storm. Guthrie explained that people sometimes die in disaster, but it has nothing to do with the actual disaster. That is where the medical examiner comes in, ultimately making that … [Read more...] about Florida Official: At Least 21 Fatalities in Aftermath of Hurricane Ian
Florida officials said uncertainty about where Hurricane Ian would hit the state led to evacuation orders with short time frames for residents of barrier islands near Fort Myers that were walloped by the storm. Gov. Ron DeSantis noted that forecasters initially thought the storm was likely to make landfall well to the north of the southwest Florida islands that ultimately took a direct hit. “There is a difference between a storm that’s going to hit north Florida that will have peripheral effects on your region, versus one that’s making a direct impact,” Mr. DeSantis said, speaking at an afternoon news conference in Lee County. “And so what I saw in southwest Florida is, as the data changed, they sprung into action.” Kevin Guthrie, the state’s emergency management director, said that hard-hit Lee County, where rescues were continuing on Friday, would have needed 48 hours to successfully evacuate. But two days before landfall, he said, forecasters were not expecting a direct hit … [Read more...] about Officials in Florida say shifting forecasts complicated the timing of evacuation orders.
Crews are beginning to repair — and in some cases, rebuild — Florida's power grid after the state was pummeled by Hurricane Ian. Florida Power & Light says it stockpiled enough poles, generators and wire to do the work. But power-industry officials warn that kinks in the nation's supply chain could slow the recovery if Ian causes more damage as it spins up the Atlantic coast, or when another natural disaster strikes somewhere else in the U.S. Eric Silagy, CEO of Florida Power & Light, said that Friday evening 850,000 of the utility's customers who lost power in the storm remained without power, but 1.2 million had power restored during the day. Ian crossed Florida’s Gulf Coast on Wednesday as one of the strongest storms to ever hit the U.S. Silagy said earlier this week that the company had set aside enough generators in the months before Ian to complete repairs. Nationally, however, there is a shortage of distribution transformers that take electricity from … [Read more...] about Supply chain issues could slow fix of Florida electric grid
Two years before his congressional-election loss to current Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, former Republican Representative David Jolly narrowly won election in his Tampa Bay-area congressional district by just under 2 percent of the vote in a race considered by many to be a national bellwether. Polling showed little daylight between the two. And entering the tail end of the Barack Obama presidency, Republicans appeared to be at an advantage amid lingering concerns about the state of the economy and growing pains from Democratic policies like the Affordable Care Act. In Florida, however, the key to the race was not health care, an issue that defined so many other races that election cycle. It was Florida's property insurance crisis, and whether Jolly or Democratic challenger Alex Sink had the better policy to address the problem, which is front and center again after Hurricane Ian tore across the state this week. "The Florida special election was more about … [Read more...] about Is Florida’s property insurance crisis Ron DeSantis’ Achilles heel?
Christine Bomlitz became more and more distraught as Hurricane Ian gained in ferocity Wednesday, sweeping across southwest Florida. Hours passed, but there was still no word from her 84-year-old mother. Thursday morning came. The storm had drifted away overnight. But still no word. Stuck on the other side of the country in Las Vegas, Bomlitz posted pleas for help on social media — anywhere she could. "Any of my FL friends know anyone in Englewood? I Need to check on my mom," she wrote in a Facebook post. Bomlitz had no way to contact her mom, Shirley Affolter, who lost her cellphone before the storm. Then her landline went down. With nowhere to go, she hunkered down for the night. Before the storm, an evacuation vehicle had missed her on its route. Looking back at the last 24 hours as Florida begins to rebuild after Hurricane Ian Sept. 30, 2022 02:18 By Thursday afternoon, a good Samaritan came to the rescue. Cheynne … [Read more...] about Florida woman braves Hurricane Ian flood to check on stranger’s 84-year-old mom
close Video Hurricane Ian devastates homes across Fort Myers Florida resident John Iverson shares the damage done to his home by Hurricane Ian Lee County, Florida has implemented a strict curfew and said it has "zero tolerance" for looting in the areas ravaged by Hurricane Ian. County officials said Wednesday there was a report of looting in the aftermath of the storm. Reports of looters taking advantage of the chaos caused by Hurricane Ian and walking away from destroyed homes in Fort Myers with stolen goods prompted Lee County officials to establish the temporary ordinance. HURRICANE IAN BRING MORE FLORIDA STORM SURGE, SETS SIGHTS ON CAROLINAS "Earlier today, when law enforcement was unable to respond because of weather conditions... there was a break-in on Cleveland Avenue River," said Lee County Manager Roger Dejarlais. Damaged boats lie on the land and water in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, … [Read more...] about Hurricane Ian response: Florida county announces ‘zero tolerance’ for looting amid curfew
close Video Hurricane Ian devastates homes across Fort Myers Florida resident John Iverson shares the damage done to his home by Hurricane Ian A family fleeing Hurricane Ian in Florida suffered a terrible tragedy on Thursday after their child fell over a balcony to his death. Authorities found the young child dead after they responded to an emergency at the Sterling Reef resort building, according to local outlet WJHG 7 . Police officers and Emergency Medical Service personnel in Panama City Beach were informed that the young boy, 11, had fallen fell from the 19th floor of the resort building on Front Beach Road. "To protect the privacy of those involved, we’re unable to provide any information as this is an ongoing investigation," a spokesperson for the resort told Fox News Digital. LIVE UPDATES: HURRICANE IAN LASHES SOUTH CAROLINA; FLORIDA OFFICIALS REPORT MORE DEATHS The Sterling Reef resort in Panama … [Read more...] about Florida boy whose family fled Hurricane Ian dead after falling from 19th-floor resort balcony
close Video Pelosi decimated for claiming that illegal immigrants need to stay in Florida to ‘pick the crops down here’ Twitter melted down after a recent clip featured Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi claiming that Floridian farmers "need" illegal immigrants to stay in their state and "pick the crops." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday said that farmers in Florida need illegal immigrants "to pick the crops" as she called for "comprehensive immigration reform" and said there was a shortage of workers in the U.S. Pelosi was asked about whether the southern border is secure, and responded by saying that while "we have a responsibility to secure our border, we also have a responsibility to recognize the importance of newcomers to our nation." "Right now, the best thing that we can do for our economy is comprehensive immigration reform," she said. Democratic proposals for such reform typically include sweeping amnesties for illegal immigrants … [Read more...] about Pelosi says farmers need illegal immigrants ‘to pick the crops’ in Florida
For free real time breaking news alerts sent straight to your inbox sign up to our breaking news emails Sign up to our free breaking news emails Hundreds of hospital patients were being evacuated from facilities across the Fort Myers region Thursday after damage from Hurricane Ian cut off water supplies. One area hospital began assessing the full damage from ferocious winds that tore away parts of its roof and swamped its emergency room. Other health care systems in Ian's path, from the state's Gulf coast to the Atlantic , were also moving patients because of flood waters. Even as the problem was too much water in much of the state, at least nine hospitals in southwest Florida had the opposite problem. “We have one large health system in southwest Florida that is without water in all of their facilities. And so they are fast approaching a point where they will not be able to safely take care of their patients. So that is an urgent focus to get … [Read more...] about After Ian, Florida hospitals evacuate hundreds of patients
Sign up to the Independent Climate email for the latest advice on saving the planet Get our free Climate email A luxury sports car – estimated to be worth more than $1m – was washed out of its owner’s garage and submerged beneath feet of water as Hurricane Ian tore through a Florida neighbourhood. The bright yellow McLaren P1, a luxury vehicle that can top out at 217mph and can go from 0 to 60mph in just 2.2 seconds, was captured in Instagram footage by its owner, Ernie. Ernie shared images of the eye-catching vehicle, purchased by the Florida resident just one week ago, tucked beneath a tree outside his Naples home with water eddying around where the switchblade doors previously would’ve opened upwards to the sky. “Car went thru the garage,” said the owner of the sports car in a caption on the post showing the damage from the Category 4 storm that pounded the southwestern coast on Wednesday before it was downgraded to a tropical … [Read more...] about Luxury McLaren car worth over $1m washed out of Florida garage and submerged by Hurricane Ian