Hurricane Ian: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Claims State Has Never Seen ‘Flood Event’ Like This

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images)

Less than 24 hours after Hurricane Ian made landfall, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis claims the state hasn’t seen anything like the storm before.

ABC News reports that during a press conference on Thursday (September 29th), DeSantis spoke about the “historic” impact and damage that Hurricane Ian caused. “The impacts of this storm are historic,” he shared. “And the damage that was done has been historic and this is just off initial assessments. There’s going to be a lot more assessing that goes on in the days ahead.”

DeSantis further explained that Florida has never seen a flood event like Hurricane Ian before. “We’ve never seen storm surge of this magnitude and it hit an area where there’s a lot of people in a lot of those low-lying areas and it’s going to end doing extensive damage to a lot of people’s homes.” 

The Florida Governor also shared that as of 6 a.m., 2.02 million customers were without power. Due to Hurricane Ian, DeSantis says that Charlotte and Lee Counties are basically “off the grid” at this point. 

DeSantis also shares that the damage from Hurricane Ian will take years to repair. “The amount of water that’s been rising and will likely continue to rise today, even as the storm is passing, is basically a 500-year flood event. And I know Seminole County has done evacuations, I know they’ve opened shelters, but we’re gonna see a lot of images about eh destruction that was done in southwest Florida, and obviously, we have massive assets there.”

DeSantis further explained that Hurricane Ian is having broad impacts across the state. Some flooding in areas hundreds of miles from where the storm made landfall.

FEMA Search and Rescue Teams Have Been Out in Hurricane Ian Impact Areas Since 4 A.M.

Meanwhile, FEAM Administrator, Deanna Criswell, spoke to Good Morning America about the agency’s search and rescue teams that are already in Florida looking through the areas impacted by Hurricane Ian. She stated that the teams have been out since 4 a.m.

Criswell shared that FEMA has been hearing reports of people calling 9-1-1 through the night. The agency will use the information to prioritize rescue efforts. “This has been just a catastrophic storm and it’s left significant damage in its path,” she explained. The agency will be conducting rescues by land, air, and sea. 

Speaking about the impact zones for the hurricane, Criswell cautions those in the areas to stay clear from the water. “Water is dangerous. Even though the storm has passed, the water that is there is still dangerous. There’s debris, there’s chemicals, there could be downed power lines. People need to be careful, they need to stay vigilant.”

Right before noon, the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane warning for the entire coast of South Carolina. A hurricane watch was in place for the entire state originally.