Agriculture losses in Florida from Hurricane Ian’s high winds and drenching rains could reach $1.56 billion, with citrus, cattle, vegetable and melon operations among the hardest hit, the University of Florida reported Tuesday in a preliminary estimate.
With damage from Ian estimated at several times that and the Fort Myers area beginning a cleanup that will be even larger than after Michael, the two areas are collaborating on a way forward as south Florida residents wonder what their area will look like in a few years.
Ashley Garner had given up on ever seeing her wedding ring again after losing it outside her Fort Myers home just days before Hurricane Ian crashed into the coast of southwest Florida last. Despite enlisting her husband and three young children to help search around their yard and garage for two days, there was no sign of the ring.
President Joe Biden surveyed the devastation of hurricane-ravaged Florida on Wednesday, promising to marshal the power of the federal government to help rebuild as he comforted local residents alongside Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 foe.
Nearly a week after Hurricane Ian smashed into Florida and left carved a path of destruction that reached into the Carolinas, more than half a million statewide residents are facing another day without electricity.
Rescuers evacuated stunned survivors on a large barrier island cut off by Hurricane Ian and Florida’s death toll climbed sharply, as hundreds of thousands of people were still sweltering without power days after the monster storm rampaged from the state’s southwestern coast up to the Carolinas.
Officials say four Cuban migrants swam to shore in the Florida Keys and three others were rescued from the ocean after their boat sank shortly before Hurricane Ian made landfall in southwestern Florida.