Florida- With the death toll from Hurricane Ian rising and power outages for hundreds of thousands of people in Florida and the Carolinas, federal authorities on Sunday pledged to deliver an unprecedented amount of disaster aid as Rescuers were still rushing to rescue people still trapped in floodwaters.
Days after Ian tore through central Florida and left behind a trail of destruction stretching into the Carolinas, water levels were still rising in some areas, inundating homes and streets that weren’t so bad just a year or two ago. days.
Amid scattered branches on the grounds of St. Hilaria Episcopal Church in Fort Myers, the Rev. Charles Cannon admitted great loss during his Sunday sermon, but also gave thanks for what remains. This includes the stained glass windows and the bell tower of the temple.RELATED
“People think they’ve lost everything, but you haven’t lost everything if you haven’t lost yourself,” he declared.
Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, for its acronym in English), said the federal government is ready to help in a big way, focusing first on the victims in Florida, who bore the brunt of one of the most powerful storms to hit the United States. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will visit the state on Wednesday.
Flooded roads and broken bridges leading to islands have left many people isolated amid limited cell phone service and a lack of basic services like water, electricity and internet. Authorities warned that the situation is not expected to improve in many areas for several days because all the rain that has fallen has nowhere to drain, as waterways are overflowing.
Nearly 850,000 homes and businesses were still without power on Sunday, after the number rose to 2.67 million.
Criswell told “Fox News Sunday” that the federal government has begun to marshal the “largest number of search-and-rescue assets I think we’ve ever put together before” to supplement Florida’s resources.
Still, recovery will take time, added Criswell, who visited the state on Friday and Saturday to assess the damage and speak with survivors. He warned that there are still dangers.
“We are very concerned about direct impacts from the storm itself as it makes landfall, but we see a lot more injuries and sometimes more deaths after the storm,” Criswell said. “People need to remain vigilant right now. Standing water brings with it all kinds of risks: It has debris in it, it could contain power lines, there could be risks in there that you just don’t know about.”
At least 54 people have been confirmed dead: 47 in Florida, four in North Carolina and three in Cuba. The weakened storm continued to move north on Sunday and is expected to bring rain to parts of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), which warned of the possibility of flash flooding.
More than 1,000 people have been rescued from flooded areas on Florida’s southwestern coast alone, Daniel Hokanson, a four-star general who heads the National Guard, told The Associated Press.