Florida: The death toll from Hurricane Ian rose to at least 76 as homeless Floridians are struggling to restart their lives when about 700,000 homes and businesses remained without power on Sunday, four days after the Category 4 beast slammed ashore along the state’s Gulf Coast. Over 4,000 people have been rescued by local, state and federal authorities, FEMA and U.S. Coast Guard officials said.Also Read – Hurricane Ian Death Toll Climbs To 80; Numbers Could Go Up, Say Officials
The storm, one of the strongest hurricanes by wind speed to ever hit the U.S., weakened Saturday as it rolled into the mid-Atlantic, but not before it washed out bridges and piers, hurdled massive boats into buildings onshore and sheared roofs off homes, leaving hundreds of thousands without power. Also Read – Viral Video: Journalist Uses Condom To Keep Microphone Dry For Reporting During Hurricane Ian
Days after Ian tore through central Florida, carving a deadly path of destruction into the Carolinas, water levels continued rising in some flooded areas, inundating homes and streets that were passable just a day or two earlier. Also Read – Hurricane Ian Leaves Dozens Dead as Focus Turns to Rescue, Recovery
The weakened storm wreaked havoc as it drifted north, with the remnants forming a nor’easter that is expected to dump rain on parts of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, weather officials said.
In Virginia, rainfall on the already inundated Chesapeake Bay could lead to the most significant tidal flooding event in the Hampton Roads region in the last 10 to 15 years, said Cody Poche, a National Weather Service meteorologist. A handful of coastal Virginia school districts canceled classes Monday, and local officials urged residents to prepare.
Flooded roadways and washed-out bridges to barrier islands left many people isolated amid limited cellphone service and a lack of basic amenities such as water, electricity and the internet. Officials warned that the situation in many areas isn’t expected to improve for several days because the rain that fell has nowhere to go.