As of Thursday morning, more than 2.5 million Americans were left without power after Hurricane Ian completely ravaged the state’s west coast. Now, in an effort to begin repairs, more than 40K linemen have boarded their utility trucks, the awe-inspiring scene captured in a viral video. Footage shows the linemen coming forward to help restore power during one of the darkest times in the state’s history.
Viewers, in awe of the mass amount of utility trucks, took to the comments to share thanks for the linemen and prayers for FL.
“This is what America is supposed to look like,” claimed one viewer. Another said, “These guys were all so amazing in Louisiana! Take good care of them, Florida! We fed them good, washed their clothes, and treated them like the heroes they are while they were here.”
Other Twitter users spoke about their own family members headed to FL to help state linemen restore power to affected areas.
“I’ve got a step son and a father in law out there waiting,” one said. “God bless them all.”
Hurricane Ian moved into the FL coast at midday Wednesday. By 2:30 p.m. EST, it had already knocked out power for more than 700,000 Floridians. The most heavily affected areas include Hardee, DeSoto, Charlotte, and Lee counties. Neighboring areas saw more than half of its residents without power on Thursday, including Manatee, Sarasota, Collier, Highlands, and Glades.
Hurricane Ian Death Toll Already Estimated in the ‘Hundreds’ in One Florida County
Given the destruction left behind in Hurricane Ian’s wake, determining a statewide death toll is going to be difficult. Already though, the first fatality at the hands of the Cat 4 storm has been confirmed, a 72-year-old man found dead in a canal after he reportedly went outside to drain his pool. Officials fear, however, that the man’s death is only the first of many.
In a preliminary estimate, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said the death toll there alone likely numbers in the “hundreds.” However, authorities can’t be certain, and likely won’t be for several days.
Speaking out about the destruction, Marceno said, “[Hurricane Ian] crushed us. We still cannot access many of the people that are in need.”
Lee County, one of the regions hit worst by Hurricane Ian is home to cities including Fort Myers, Fort Myers Beach, and Cape Coral.
A Fox News report states that storm surges, already expected to be “catastrophic,” reached seven feet above average in most places, completely flooding homes and even sending some floating down FL streets. Footage captured amid the height of the storm shows one home in particular washed away by Hurricane Ian’s storm surges washed down a Naples street.
Fox meteorologist Jason Frazer said in his report, “This really shows you the true power of Mother Nature.”