Fort Myers, Florida, received the brunt of Hurricane Ian, leaving citizens in shock amid the destruction.
“It’s horrific,” Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson told CNN on Friday while standing at the city’s marina.
The area was devastated, according to Fort Myers Beach Town Councilman Dan Allers. On Thursday evening, he said, “I’d say 90% of the island is pretty much gone. Unless you have a high-rise condo or a newer concrete home that is built to the same standards today, your house is pretty much gone.”
Aerial video footage showed debris scattered all over the streets and buildings with their windows and doors blown out:
The United States death toll from the catastrophic hurricane climbed to 27 late Friday, the Associated Press (AP) reported:
According to Florida’s Medical Examiners Commission, several new deaths were attributable to the storm, including a 62-year-old woman who died after suffering injuries and drowning when a tree fell on a mobile home, a 54-year-old man who was found trapped in a window after drowning, and a female who was found tangled in wires under a residence in Lee County.
Video footage recorded this week in Fort Myers Beach showed floodwaters rushing through the streets as winds battered the trees and buildings:
“Hurricane Ian changed what Fort Myers Beach looks like,” a reporter with Fox 4 Now said in a video showing the devastation:
Meanwhile, Fox 13 described downtown Fort Myers as an “unrecognizable landscape.”
“It blew through hurricane doors, hurricane shutters, and it took everything from everyone and it’s just devastating. You don’t know where to begin,” resident Kathy O’Neill told the outlet:
Per the CNN article, Liz Bellow-Matthews, a spokesperson for the city of Fort Myers, said safety workers had been responding nonstop and residents continued struggling but none were reported stranded.
“We’re still just moving forward and trying to make sure that we’re there when they need us,” she added.