‘Looks Like Atom Bomb Dropped’: Hurricane Ian Levels Neighborhoods In Southwest Florida
One resident told Tampa Bay Times, “it looks like somebody took an atom bomb and dropped it,” referring to the widespread damage across Southwest Florida following the devastating hurricane that made landfall about 24 hours ago near Fort Myers as a Cat. 4 storm.
The footage is absolutely shocking.
* * *
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told reporters
Hurricane Tropical Storm Ian had produced a “500-year flood event” across Florida.
* * *
Hurricane Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm early Thursday morning as it traversed northeastward across central Florida, dumping torrential rain while still packing strong winds across a large swath of the state.
The former Category 4 hurricane made landfall Wednesday afternoon west of Fort Myers near Cayo Costa. Ian unleashed widespread life-threatening storm surge flooding across the region.
About 2.6 million homes and businesses are without power, according to PowerOutage.us. The most significant number of outages are based in the southwest Florida region, where the hurricane made landfall.
Shocking footage yesterday revealed the surge sent a wall of water roaring inland that was as high as some homes. Streets were instantly transformed into rivers. We pointed out last night that total storm damage could be upwards of $70 billion.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno told ABC’s Good Morning America that he believes “fatalities are in the hundreds” after Ian devastated his county, which includes Fort Myers, Cape Coral, and Bonita Springs, areas that experienced extreme storm surges yesterday and into the overnight.
Now Ian is expected to enter the Atlantic Ocean later today and make landfall (again) along the South Carolina coast late Friday.
The storm’s economic impact on Florida’s manufacturing, agriculture, and distribution sectors will be felt for weeks, if not months. It could also upend Florida’s home-insurance market, where insurers likely face billions of dollars in losses.