Hurricane Ian: Coast Guard Rescues Dog, Two People From Devastating Floodwaters

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Gerardo Mora/Getty Images)

U.S. Coast Guards rescued a dog and two people on Sanibel Island from the devastating floodwater caused by Hurricane Ian earlier this week. 

According to Fox Weather, U.S. Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin aircrew found the animal as well as the two persons while searching the island for Hurricane Ian survivors. It was reported that the island was cut off from Florida’s mainland due to the then category 4 storm destroying the causeway. 

Sanibel Island’s Mayor Holly Smith spoke about the rescue efforts continuing as 200 households chose to not evacuate prior to Hurricane Ian’s arrival. “Today, the most important thing we had to focus on were the people that were on the island that needed to get off,” Mayor Smith explained. “That was our number one priority.”

It was further revealed that 12 people were found injured on Sanibel Island as the Coast Guard made its way around the area. 

Sanibel Island Residents Shouldn’t Plan to Return to the Island Anytime Soon Following Hurricane Ian’s Destruction 

Unfortunately for the residents of Sanibel Island, News-Press reports that the damage from Hurricane Ian has been deemed significant. City Manager, Dana Souza shared, “We will return our community to the sanctuary island that we all known and love. It’s going to take time.”

Commissioner John Henshaw also confirmed that the devastation from the storm is severe. “The question was when are we getting back on the island,” he explained. “Would say not any time soon. I’m telling my kids don’t be here at Christmas… It’s not gonna happen.”

Souza further explained that members of the council, police and fire chiefs, and the Department of Public Works toured parts of the island on Friday (September 31st). However, the debris stopped the tour before they were able to get to the west end of the island. 

It was observed that every structure that the group saw had Hurricane Ian damage. However, it varied depending on the building and level of surge. He noted that typically one-story buildings were completely destroyed. Structures on concrete pilings managed to have to still stand with various levels of damage. 

Unfortunately, Sanibel Causeway was completely destroyed by Hurricane Ian. Leaving on boats is the only way to and from the island at this time. The storm surge of 8 to 15 feet flooded the majority of the island. 

“The island is closed,” Smith went on to declare. “People are not allowed to go to the island. It is not safe. Don’t get on your boat; don’t come to the island. You will be greeted in a way that will tell you to turn around, to go back. These are our homes; we need to protect them and we need to protect our island.”