The U.S. Coast Guard announced on Thursday (September 29th) that it has already performed more than two dozen rescues since Hurricane Ian made landfall Wednesday afternoon.
While giving CNN an update about the recovery efforts in Florida post-Hurricane Ian, Rear Adm. Brendan McPherson, a U.S. Coast Commander, shared that the military branch has already performed 28 rescues since they went out in the early hours of Thursday.
It revealed that the major of the rescues done but the U.S. Coast Guard were along the coast from Fort Myers to St. Petersburg. McPherson further explained that the rescues at Fort Myers were both maritime and roof rescues. The Coast Guard also has high helicopters in the air “blanketing” the southwest portion of Florida.
While continuing to speak about the Hurricane Ian rescue efforts, McPherson said, “Right now, we’re responding to a distress call in Lakeland, Florida, which is between St. Petersburg and Orlando … they’ve had a lot of rain and flooding in that area. We’ve sent a helicopter up there to respond to a report of six people on a roof that need rescuing.”
The U.S. Coast Guard also posted a video of the rescue efforts on Twitter. “Coast Guard air crews are actively responding to areas that have been impacted by Hurricane Ian as it moves across the state,” the tweet reads. “Searching for people in distressed and assessing the storm damages.”
Stay-At-Home Orders Still Remain in Effect For Fort Myers Residents Following Hurricane Ian
Meanwhile, stay-at-home orders still remain in effect for Fort Myers residents after Hurricane Ian devastated the area. Local officials made the announcement on Facebook.
“Our crews have been assessing and helping residents since yesterday,” officials explain. “Do NOT go out today. We have a stay-at-home curfew in effect. We are HOPING to not provide citations, BUT there are many vehicles on the road and they are PREVENTING US from reaching the areas that need to be cleared. DO NOT GO OUT until you are notified that it’s allowed to do so.”
CNN also reported that Fort Myers Hospital is sending patients to Naples. The city of Naples’ mayor, Teresa Heitmann, confirmed the news. She described the effects of Hurricane Ian in Naples as being catastrophic and devastating.
“I will tell you though,” she shared. “Our prayers are for those up north. Fort Myers – they’re without water. At least our water and sewer is working. They’re having to send patients from Fort Myers to Naples Community Hospital.”
Heitmann went on to say that Naples “will recover quickly” and residents are safe and sound post the storm. However, Florida Power and Light told CNN that restoring power for its customers in both Fort Myers and Naples will take longer than in other parts of the state. “We started our restoration work yesterday,” a spokesperson told the media outlet. “We’ve already restored about three-quarters of a million customers, but clearly the more impacted areas near Naples and Fort Myers will take longer.”