Days after Hurricane Ian’s landfall in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, the state is still reeling from the effects of the storm. The death toll has risen to at least 52, according to ABC News, and is expected to grow as more drowned victims are discovered.
Lee County Sheriff’s Office, which encompasses Fort Myers, said at least 35 lives were lost in the county, according to ABC News. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said Saturday that his state had not seen any deaths due to the hurricane and was “open for business.”
The remnants of Hurricane Ian, now considered a post-tropical cyclone with winds of up to 35 mph, are causing widespread rain from Virginia to Connecticut as the storm heads north.
President Joe Biden said Saturday that an emergency exists in North Carolina and ordered federal assistance.
“The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population,” the White House said in a statement released early Saturday.
More than 1.2 million Floridians are still without power while another 242,000 customers in North Carolina and 56,000 people in Virginia are also reporting power outages.
Holly Smith, the mayor of Sanibel, Florida, told ABC News Live Prime that Ian has changed the city for good.
“Unless you’re on the ground, you really can’t take in the gravity of what we experienced. It’s a different Sanibel,” she said.
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