More Floridian homes, businesses still without power after Hurricane Ian than the all the households in Rhode Island

More Floridian homes, businesses still without power after Hurricane Ian than the all the households in Rhode Island thumbnail


It has been one week since Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida and carved a path of destruction that reached into the Carolinas.President Joe Biden visited hurricane-ravaged Florida Wednesday with a pledge that federal, state and local governments will work as one to help rebuild homes, businesses and lives — putting politics on mute for now to focus on those in need. Biden typically waits to visit the scene of a natural disaster, to ensure his presence and the fleet of vehicles that accompany him will not hinder the rescue efforts.How to Help: Interactive list shows local organizations helping Florida victims of Hurricane IanAt least 120 people have been confirmed dead in Florida and five in North Carolina, according to ABC News. One of the deaths is in Martin County. Search and rescue efforts are still ongoing in Florida, where thousands of people have been rescued statewide.Biden plans to meet Wednesday with residents and small-business owners in Fort Myers, Florida, and to thank government officials for providing emergency aid and removing debris.With the midterm elections just a month away, the crisis had the potential to bring together political rivals in a common cause, at least for a time.Video below: The last news conference from Florida officials on IanThe hurricane changed the purpose and tone of Biden’s first trip to Florida this year.Biden was joined by two of his most prominent Republican critics: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Rick Scott, according to the White House and Scott’s spokesman. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre suggested Tuesday that it would be inappropriate for them to focus on political differences.“There will be plenty of time, plenty of time, to discuss differences between the president and the governor — but now is not the time,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at a White House briefing. “When it comes to delivering and making sure that the people of Florida have what they need, especially after Hurricane Ian, we are one. We are working as one.”DeSantis confirmed Tuesday he’d be meeting with Biden in the hurricane zone, and he praised the administration’s Federal Emergency Management Agency for declaring an emergency before Ian made landfall.“That was huge because everyone was full steam ahead. They knew they had the ability to do it,” DeSantis said. “We appreciate it. I think FEMA’s worked very well with the state and local.” About 320,290 homes and businesses in Florida were still without electricity Wednesday, down from a peak of 2.6 million, according to the state. That’s more than all of the households in Vermont, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.Video below: WPBF 25 News Anchor Tiffany Kenney and Reporter Angela Rozier report from the Gulf Coast on recovery efforts Informational: 2022 WPBF 25 First Warning Weather Hurricane Survival Guide Ian washed away bridges and roads to several barrier islands. DeSantis confirmed that the storm-severed Pine Island Bridge in Lee County will be patched this week and that there was probably more debris in that area than any other place he had been, other than Fort Myers Beach.He said that the Sanibel Island bridge, which was also destroyed by the storm, would take longer to fix.DeSantis mentioned that there have been more than 2,300 rescues so far and 79,000 door-to-door searches.”There’s more Urban Search and Rescue capability in Florida since this storm than there’s ever been in one state since 9/11,” DeSantis said. “We’ve put money in Urban Search and Rescue in Florida in this most recent budget because we saw with Surfside how important it is to have that capability.” Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson on Sunday defended Lee County officials from accusations that they were slow in ordering evacuations Tuesday ahead of the storm, a day later than some other counties in the area.“Warnings for hurricane season start in June. So there’s a degree of personal responsibility here. I think the county acted appropriately. The thing is, a certain percentage of people will not heed the warnings regardless,” Anderson said on the CBS show “Face the Nation.” Video below: WPBF 25 drone video shows the devastation in Fort Myers Eric Silagy, Chairman and CEO of Florida Power & Light — the largest power provider in the state — said he understands the frustrations and said crews are working as hard as they can to restore power as soon as possible. The utility expects to have power restored to 95% of its service areas by the end of the day Friday, he said.A utility spokesperson said the remaining 5% comprises mostly cases where there’s a special situation making it difficult to restore power, such as the home being so damaged it can’t receive power or the area still being flooded. Those outages do not include customers whose homes or businesses were destroyed.Another major electricity provider in the hard-hit coastal region — Lee County Electric Cooperative — said Monday it expects to hit the 95% mark by the end of Saturday. That figure does not include barrier islands like Sanibel that are in its service area. Power restoration is always a key challenge after major hurricanes when high winds and flying debris can topple power lines that distribute electricity to homes or in more severe storms, damage major parts of the electric infrastructure such as transmission lines or power generation.

It has been one week since Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida and carved a path of destruction that reached into the Carolinas.

President Joe Biden visited hurricane-ravaged Florida Wednesday with a pledge that federal, state and local governments will work as one to help rebuild homes, businesses and lives — putting politics on mute for now to focus on those in need.

Biden typically waits to visit the scene of a natural disaster, to ensure his presence and the fleet of vehicles that accompany him will not hinder the rescue efforts.

How to Help: Interactive list shows local organizations helping Florida victims of Hurricane Ian

At least 120 people have been confirmed dead in Florida and five in North Carolina, according to ABC News. One of the deaths is in Martin County. Search and rescue efforts are still ongoing in Florida, where thousands of people have been rescued statewide.

Biden plans to meet Wednesday with residents and small-business owners in Fort Myers, Florida, and to thank government officials for providing emergency aid and removing debris.

With the midterm elections just a month away, the crisis had the potential to bring together political rivals in a common cause, at least for a time.

Video below: The last news conference from Florida officials on Ian

The hurricane changed the purpose and tone of Biden’s first trip to Florida this year.

Biden was joined by two of his most prominent Republican critics: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Sen. Rick Scott, according to the White House and Scott’s spokesman. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre suggested Tuesday that it would be inappropriate for them to focus on political differences.

“There will be plenty of time, plenty of time, to discuss differences between the president and the governor — but now is not the time,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at a White House briefing. “When it comes to delivering and making sure that the people of Florida have what they need, especially after Hurricane Ian, we are one. We are working as one.”

DeSantis confirmed Tuesday he’d be meeting with Biden in the hurricane zone, and he praised the administration’s Federal Emergency Management Agency for declaring an emergency before Ian made landfall.

“That was huge because everyone was full steam ahead. They knew they had the ability to do it,” DeSantis said. “We appreciate it. I think FEMA’s worked very well with the state and local.”

About 320,290 homes and businesses in Florida were still without electricity Wednesday, down from a peak of 2.6 million, according to the state. That’s more than all of the households in Vermont, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Video below: WPBF 25 News Anchor Tiffany Kenney and Reporter Angela Rozier report from the Gulf Coast on recovery efforts

Informational: 2022 WPBF 25 First Warning Weather Hurricane Survival Guide

Ian washed away bridges and roads to several barrier islands.

DeSantis confirmed that the storm-severed Pine Island Bridge in Lee County will be patched this week and that there was probably more debris in that area than any other place he had been, other than Fort Myers Beach.

He said that the Sanibel Island bridge, which was also destroyed by the storm, would take longer to fix.

DeSantis mentioned that there have been more than 2,300 rescues so far and 79,000 door-to-door searches.

“There’s more Urban Search and Rescue capability in Florida since this storm than there’s ever been in one state since 9/11,” DeSantis said. “We’ve put money in Urban Search and Rescue in Florida in this most recent budget because we saw with Surfside how important it is to have that capability.”

Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson on Sunday defended Lee County officials from accusations that they were slow in ordering evacuations Tuesday ahead of the storm, a day later than some other counties in the area.

“Warnings for hurricane season start in June. So there’s a degree of personal responsibility here. I think the county acted appropriately. The thing is, a certain percentage of people will not heed the warnings regardless,” Anderson said on the CBS show “Face the Nation.”

Video below: WPBF 25 drone video shows the devastation in Fort Myers

Eric Silagy, Chairman and CEO of Florida Power & Light — the largest power provider in the state — said he understands the frustrations and said crews are working as hard as they can to restore power as soon as possible. The utility expects to have power restored to 95% of its service areas by the end of the day Friday, he said.

A utility spokesperson said the remaining 5% comprises mostly cases where there’s a special situation making it difficult to restore power, such as the home being so damaged it can’t receive power or the area still being flooded. Those outages do not include customers whose homes or businesses were destroyed.

Another major electricity provider in the hard-hit coastal region — Lee County Electric Cooperative — said Monday it expects to hit the 95% mark by the end of Saturday. That figure does not include barrier islands like Sanibel that are in its service area.

Power restoration is always a key challenge after major hurricanes when high winds and flying debris can topple power lines that distribute electricity to homes or in more severe storms, damage major parts of the electric infrastructure such as transmission lines or power generation.

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