1664820363 What Hurricane Ian Left in Florida

What Hurricane Ian Left in Florida

After passing through Cuba, Puerto Rico, Florida, North and South Carolina, Hurricane Ian lost intensity on Sunday, was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone and reached Virginia. Here, the heavy rain expected in the next few hours could still cause flooding and major damage.

The hurricane in Florida was particularly devastating last week. Days later, some towns are still without running water and electricity and are isolated by the collapse of bridges. Rescuers are looking for missing people and are recovering the bodies of the dead, officially 68 so far, 42 of them alone in Lee County, one of the hardest hit centers on the Gulf Coast: Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Sanibel Island. The death toll is likely to increase in the coming days, surpassing the death toll from Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the most violent and destructive in Florida history.

What Hurricane Ian Left in Florida

Most of the damage, at least the most severe, was caused by large waves generated by winds in excess of 150 miles per hour that engulfed the most exposed buildings on the coast, often ripping them away entirely.

There has been much debate in recent days about the possible responsibility of local authorities, who have been accused of issuing evacuation orders too late.

However, Cecil Pendergrass, chairman of Lee County Council, denied the allegations. He argued that the communications were timely and that many people simply chose to “try to weather the storm – a decision I understand but many now regret”. The same authorities added that it is neither legally nor practically possible to force those who do not want to leave their homes to do so.

Building codes in coastal Florida have also been questioned.

Some national politicians have called for stricter regulations so that new buildings built in the future can be more resilient, but several local politicians have clarified that appropriate rules already exist: it’s more about enforcing them. For example, Kevin Anderson, mayor of Fort Myers, one of the hardest-hit tourist hubs, said: “The new homes built under the current rules have resisted, it’s the old ones that are overwhelmed: the current rules are sufficient.” “

Some of the coastal centers need almost complete rebuilding, but the priority now is to rebuild the infrastructure to bring them out of isolation. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (Republican) announced that a temporary facility will soon be built to connect Pine Island, the largest of the hurricane-hit islands, to the mainland.

The innermost areas, on the other hand, are grappling with flooding that the government says will continue for several days because the large amount of water that has fallen “has no outlet.” It’s a phenomenon called “compound flooding”: the water that spilled out during the storm blocked the normal flow of rivers toward the ocean, causing them to escape and change direction.

The main objective here is to restore the electricity grid, which has been completely destroyed in many areas, and to repair the water system in order to make the buildings that withstood the hurricane livable again. Around 700,000 people are currently without power: immediately after the hurricane passed, there were over two million.

For some of the coastal cities that were mainly based on tourism before the hurricane, the reconstruction will be very difficult: today it seems very complex to make assumptions about the times for the return of visitors.

As rescue operations (1,600 people were lifted from dangerous situations) and evacuations from remote areas by helicopter and boat continue, President Joe Biden will arrive in Florida on Wednesday, who is visiting hurricane-hit areas in Porto Rico today.