Hurricane Ian severely impacts the lives of Floridians


Steve Helber

A Category 4 hurricane recently left the Southeast in a panicked state. Families grieve the loss of loved ones and their homes. Civilians work to secure a place to stay while the aid struggles to make their way to them because of the damaged roads and bridges. Not only will these families continue to attempt to escape the water, but the ones that make it out must deal with the cost of economic damages.

Tori Altamirano, Reporter

September 28, Hurricane Ian, one of the worst hurricanes in US history, hit the coast. This hurricane left Florida with immense emotional and economical damage. Thousands of civilians live without power or clean water and families kayaked their way to safety because officials failed to reach them.

Floridians knew Hurricane Ian would soon arrive after it took out power in the entire island of Cuba September 27 and took the lives of two people. It reduced to a tropical storm after hitting Cuba but unfortunately gained its strength back in the Atlantic, starting off as a Category 3 hurricane. Days before the hurricane hit, 2.5 million people retrieved evacuation orders in Florida. Mainly younger citizens made it out, as a majority of the victims represented ages 60 and over

“This is a devastating event that has reached the hearts of everyone in the nation. This is really sad and I am praying for the people. I am also praying that some sort of fundraiser happens so that they can get money for their homes and all the children can go back to school,” sophomore Jaimie Ariste said.

A path of destruction followed after Hurricane Ian passed through Florida, the Carolinas and coastal Georgia. This destruction caused the deaths of 85 people as far as officials know. The search for survivors continues while the death toll rises above 80. President Joe Biden classifies Hurricane Ian as one of the deadliest hurricanes to ever hit Florida. Limited mobile services continue to leave thousands of citizens isolated. At least 620,000 homes and businesses in Florida were left without electricity, even days after Ian moved forward.

Due to the overflowing waterways, rainfall flooded the streets causing flooded roadways and washed-out bridges. These floods act as the reason rescue missions continue to stay focused on the Sanibel and Pine barrier islands near Fort Myers in southwest Florida. Not only on these islands but in multiple other places as well; these damaged bridges complicate rescue efforts forcing the stranded civilians to wait in place because no one can save them. 

The Dakin Dairy Farm in Myakka City, Florida lost over 200 cows after they fell victim to Hurricane Ian’s wind speeds of 100mph. This causes a major setback for the dairy farm and the state of Florida. According to Karen Clark & Co.’s analysis, the total economic damage will rise well over $100 billion including uninsured properties, damage to infrastructure, and other cleanup and recovery costs.

“Friday insured losses from Hurricane Ian in the U.S. and the Caribbean will be close to $63 billion in nominal dollars. Hurricane Ian will be the largest hurricane loss in Florida history,” risk modeler Karen Clark and Company said.

After seeing what remains of the places that retrieved the worst damage, the path to recovery will become expensive and intensive. Cleaning up the damage and restoring the destroyed properties will proceed for an unknown amount of time. Most locals would now need to relocate as they must stay away for months, waiting until it is safe to return.