Hurricane Ian: US death toll rises to 65

61 of those killed were in Florida, while four others were in neighbouring North Carolina

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, October 03, 2022, 12:30 PM IST
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Experts have warned that the economic impact is likely to be well into the tens of billions of dollars | AP

Hurrican Ian, which slammed into the US state of Florida last week, has inflicted enormous costs on the state, with at least 65 confirmed dead in the US and hundreds of thousands still left without electricity.

61 of those killed were in Florida, while four others were in neighbouring North Carolina. From a peak of 2.6 million, fewer than 700,000 homes and businesses in Florida were still without electricity on Sunday.

One of the most powerful storms to ever hit the US, Ian weakened as it headed north, but still managed to wreak havoc, 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.

While for the moment the scale of Ian's destruction remains unclear, independent experts have warned that the economic impact is likely to be well into the tens of billions of dollars.

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.

US federal officials vowed on Sunday to unleash a massive amount of federal disaster aid as crews scrambled to rescue people stranded by the storm. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was in Arcadia on Sunday afternoon, about 30 miles inland from where Ian made landfall. The rural area didn’t get the storm surge experienced by coastal communities, but standing water from floods remained four days after the storm.

“This is such a big storm, brought so much water, that you’re having basically what’s been a 500-year flood event,” DeSantis said.

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