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2 million without power, people trapped after Hurricane Ian swamps southwest Florida

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Hurricane Ian left a devastating trail in southwest Florida, trapping people in flooded homes, damaging the roof of a hospital’s intensive care unit, and cutting power to two million people before heading for the Atlantic coast. .

One of the strongest hurricanes in history to hit the United States will cross the Florida peninsula on Wednesday night, threatening devastating flooding inland, the National Hurricane Center warned.

In Port Charlotte, along Florida’s Gulf Coast, storm surges flooded a hospital’s lower-floor emergency room, even as high winds tore part of the intensive care unit’s roof, according to doctors working there.

Dr. Birgit Bodine of HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital said water was pouring into the ICU and staff had to evacuate the hospital’s most ill patients, some of whom were on ventilators, to another floor. did not. Staff used towels and plastic containers to try and wipe up the soaked dirt.

The medium-sized hospital has four floors, but the damage kept patients on the second floor. Bodine planned to spend the night there in case people injured in the storm arrived in need of help.

Flooded streets can be seen in Fort Myers as Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwest Florida on Wednesday. The hurricane brought power outages to her two million people. (Marco Bello/Reuters)

“As long as our patients are doing well and no one dies or has a bad outcome, that’s what matters,” Bodine said.

Law enforcement officers in nearby Fort Myers received calls from people trapped in flooded homes and concerned relatives. It also included a video showing water splashing towards the eaves of a house.

“The only way is to board a ship.”

Pittsburgh journalist Brittany Haler called rescuers about her mother’s home in North Fort Myers, which was flooded 1.5 meters.

“We don’t know when the water will go down. We don’t know how they’re going to leave. Their cars are completely destroyed,” said Haler. “Her only means of escape is a boat.”

Hurricane Ian turned a street into a river and slammed into southwestern Florida on Wednesday with winds of 241 kilometers per hour, pushing a storm surge wall and blowing trees away. Ian’s strength at the time of landfall was a Category 4, tying her to the fifth strongest hurricane to ever hit the United States, as measured by wind speed.

Brent Shaynor runs into sheltered areas through the wind and rain from Hurricane Ian on Wednesday in Sarasota. (Getty Images)

Ian was in Category 1 with winds of 144 km/h that waned in intensity by the second half of Wednesday. Still, storm surges as high as 2 meters were expected on Thursday across the state in northeastern Florida.

Migrant ship from Cuba sinks

And hurricane-strength winds are expected in central Florida until early Thursday, with large, catastrophic flooding likely, according to the Miami-based Hurricane Center.

By late Wednesday, no U.S. deaths by Ian had been reported. But a boat carrying Cuban migrants sank in a storm east of Key West on Wednesday.

The US Coast Guard launched a 23-person search and rescue mission and was able to locate three survivors about 3 kilometers south of the Florida Keys, officials said. Her four other Cubans swam to Stock Island, just east of Key West, according to U.S. Border Patrol. The aircrew continued his search for perhaps 20 migrants remaining.

Watch | Ian’s Fury Hits Florida’s Gulf Coast:

Hurricane Ian hits Florida with devastating winds and rain

Hurricane Ian slammed into the Gulf Coast of Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, threatening to devastate coastal areas with devastating storm surges.

The storm has hit Cuba before, killing two people and taking down the country’s power grid.

The eye of the hurricane made landfall near Cayo Costa, a barrier island just west of densely populated Fort Myers. As it approached, water flowed out of Tampa Bay.

According to the PowerOutage.us site, power outages hit more than 2 million homes and businesses in Florida. Nearly every home and business in three counties lost power.

Sheriff Bull Plummer of Charlotte County, just north of Fort Myers, has announced a 9:00 p.m. I said it is possible.

“We are enacting this curfew as a means of protecting the people and property of Charlotte County,” Plummell said.

The Weather Underground predicted the storm would pass near Daytona Beach, enter the Atlantic Ocean, and return to the South Carolina coast on Friday.

Governors of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia have all preemptively declared states of emergency. Forecasters have predicted that Ian will likely head into these states as a tropical storm, bringing more flooding rains over the weekend.

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