The death toll from Hurricane Ian climbed past 80 as affected residents in Florida and the Carolinas faced a recovery expected to cost tens of billions of dollars.
The death toll was expected to keep rising as floodwaters receded and search teams keep working on remote areas. Hundreds of people have been rescued by emergency workers.
The Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour left more than 700,000 businesses and homes without power on Sunday afternoon in Florida alone. A more detailed assessment on the destruction and total cost is still being carried out.
According to media reports insurance companies braced for between $28 billion and $47 billion in claims. This would be the costliest Florida storm since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
Amid growing criticism for the Biden administration response, the Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Deanne Criswell asked Americans yesterday “to make informed decisions” about rebuilding in vulnerable areas that are more vulnerable by climate change.
Florida accounted for all but four of the fatalities, with 42 tallied by Lee County sheriff’s office. A further 39 deaths were reported by officials in four neighboring counties.