Florida’s emergency management teams, including search and rescue and power restoration workers are poised to help save lives and get the power back on once Hurricane Ian leaves, but parts of Southwest Florida will take weeks and months to recover, Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
“Yes there’ll be an immediate response … but eventually there won’t be much media attention on this as the weeks and months go on. But we understand a storm of this magnitude is going to require an effort over an extended period of time,” DeSantis told reporters at the Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee on Wednesday afternoon.
Ian bashed into Southwest Florida, with Lee and Charlotte counties feeling the worst effects of its 155 mph winds, just shy of Category 5 status, on Wednesday afternoon. Storm surges of 12 to 18 feet have been reported from Englewood to Bonita Beach, as well as power outages already affecting more than 200,000 people.
DeSantis said Tuesday that number will stretch into the millions as Ian makes its way across Florida, but he said “not all power outages are created equal,” and that some areas will be out of power for a week or longer because of the strength of Ian.
He also acknowledged some residents of coastal areas didn’t heed evacuation orders, including 31 residents of a barrier island. But search and rescue crews, including five state crews, five federal crews and 100 Florida Fish and Wildlife personnel are standing by to save lives after Ian clears the area.
“That’s a decision they made knowing they had the ability to evacuate and knowing what the stakes were,” DeSantis said. “Nevertheless, life safety operations will commence as soon as it’s safe to be able to identify people who may be in harm’s way or who are in need of assistance.”
As of 2 p.m., the latest National Hurricane Center forecast projects the storm to gradually make its way across the state, dumping heavy rains and carrying destructive winds for more than 24 hours before exiting near Daytona Beach on Thursday evening.
The damage is likely to last long in the psyche of Southwest Florida, DeSantis said.
“It will be one of the storms people always remember when they think about Southwest Florida. It’ll probably be the big one that they always remember,” DeSantis said. “You go to Panama City, (Hurricane) Michael is just part of the DNA of the community. Homestead — Hurricane Andrew is just part of the DNA of the community. This Ian is going to rank up there with that.”
September 28, 2022 at 2:56 pm
I just took a brick to the face. My wife drowned in the attic. God and baby Jesus help us. That gd DeSantis said to hunker down! It killed me wife!!
September 28, 2022 at 3:34 pm
Tom Legend here. Good stuff, but so untrue! Thanks for the laugh Joey, people will suffer regretfully. So knock it off. Grow up.
September 28, 2022 at 3:47 pm
It’s not me. It’s not me saying tropical 3 ocean windcane…
September 28, 2022 at 3:16 pm
I hope Gov. remembers what he did for NJ for Hurricane Sandy.. and not bother asking for Federal Funds for Clean up.
“The day after he was sworn into office, Jan. 4, 2013, DeSantis voted against a $9.7 billion relief package for the New York and New Jersey victims of Hurricane Sandy.”
But being the Slime Ball he is , he will demand Feds to cut the check f
David in Shoreline
September 28, 2022 at 3:22 pm
Charlie Crist has got to be hating life right now. Ain’t no Florida voter gonna pick a new Governor during a natural disaster or the recovery phase. Sorry Charlie!
September 28, 2022 at 3:49 pm
DeSantis is responsible for mass death during COVID-19 and also this hurricane. Only a death cult member or grifter would vote for DEATHSANTIS.
September 28, 2022 at 4:00 pm
Not too late to take fishing boats out. I know guys who are catching huge fish left and right at this very moment. Safer than being on land. No surge and no flying debris.
September 28, 2022 at 8:13 pm
This is not climate change. It’s God’s wrath against false conservative devotees like DeSantis & Florida residents who support inhumanity and racists. Too bad that people have to learn the hard way. Do he back stroke!
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