By Joel Ayala and Colin Walker
Hurricane Ian recently hit Florida as a category 4 storm. After leaving Florida, the storm is projected to make its way through South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virgina. The tropical storm will be sure to bring lots of heavy rain and strong winds. New tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued for North and South Carolina.
Hurricane Ian has caused the most damage to Florida in the history of the state. Despite being downgraded to a tropical storm, more than 2.5 million people in Florida were under evacuation orders before the storm hit, according to World Vision. Hurricane Ian also caused 25 percent of the state to be left without power.
Hurricane Ian knocked out power to more than 1.5 million residents across Florida. The powerful tropical storm has caused 100 casualties in the state of Florida, and more than 1,600 people have been rescued from the two hardest hit areas in Charlotte and Lee counties, according to the BBC.
Homes that were further inland were met with 20 inches of rainfall. Homes on the bay were wiped out and trampled over with boats from the harbor. Satellite analysis shows that more than 80,000 homes have been affected by flooding, according to PBS.
Travel has also been severely impacted as around 2,000 flights were canceled due to the hurricane. Airports in Tampa and Orlando were forced to completely shut down.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis described the destruction as a “500-year flooding event,” according to USA Today. “We have never seen a storm surge of this magnitude,” he said.
Hurricane Ian follows Hurricane Fiona, a Category 1 storm that made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 18. Hurricane Ian also knocked out the electrical grid in Cuba, leaving the entire island without power. While power has already been restored to parts of the island, one of the country’s main power plants collapsed in the aftermath of the Hurricane.
Currently, FEMA as well as other humanitarian organizations are organizing disaster relief support such as food and clothing donations for those evacuated as well as sending teams door-to-door to assess needs.