Ian toll: At least 94 deaths reported after storm batters Florida; 4 dead in NC


FORT MYERS, Fla. — At least 94 people in Florida have died from Hurricane Ian, according to local officials.

Four people were also reported dead from the storm in North Carolina, the governor’s office said.

Days after skies cleared and winds died down in Florida, the effects of Hurricane Ian lingered on Monday as people faced another week without power and others were rescued from homes flooded by the lingering floodwaters.

Frustrations mounted on the way the storm passed through Florida, and the remnants of the hurricane, now a northeasterly, have not finished with the United States

The mid-Atlantic and northeast coasts were receiving torrential rains. Forecasters said the storm’s onshore winds could pile even more water in an already flooded Chesapeake Bay and threatened to cause the largest tidal flooding in Virginia’s Hampton Roads area in more than a decade.

Norfolk and Virginia Beach declared states of emergency as they watched to see how bad Monday’s tides would be. Coastal flooding was possible from the Outer Banks of North Carolina to Long Island, the National Weather Service said.

Search and rescue efforts were still underway Monday in Florida. More than 1,600 people have been rescued statewide, according to the Florida Emergency Management Agency.

Fort Myers Beach Mayor Ray Murphy told NBC’s “Today Show” that evacuated residents were largely kept away from their homes due to a search likely to last a few more days.

Washed-out bridges to barrier islands, flooded roads, isolated cell phone service and a lack of water, electricity or the internet have left hundreds of thousands of people still isolated. The situation in many areas was not expected to improve for several days as rivers overflowed, leaving the falling rain with nowhere to go.

In DeSoto County, northeast of Fort Myers, the Peace River and its tributaries have reached record levels.

Many residents of the rural county of about 37,000 could only be reached by boat. According to the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office, which was participating in the effort, the roads that remained above the water were blocked.

“At this time we are working on setting up teams to help find stranded residents and we are sending ATVs to help get rid of debris on the roads that were impossible to navigate,” the deputies wrote in a post on Facebook.

In rural Seminole County, north of Orlando, residents donned waders, boots and insect repellent to paddle to their flooded homes on Sunday.

Ben Bertat found 4 inches of water in his home near Lake Harney after kayaking there.

“I think it’s going to get worse because all that water has to get to the lake,” Bertat said, pointing to water flooding a nearby road. “With the ground saturated, this whole swamp is full and it just can’t take any more water. It doesn’t look like it’s going down.”

About 600,000 homes and businesses in Florida were still without power Monday morning, down from a peak of 2.6 million. But it’s still about the same number of customers in all of Rhode Island.

The current goal is to restore power by Sunday to customers whose power lines and other electrical infrastructure are still intact, Florida Emergency Management Division Director Kevin Guthrie said Monday. It does not include houses or areas where infrastructure needs to be rebuilt.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden plan to visit the state on Wednesday.

In Virginia, the US Navy has postponed the first-ever deployment of the USS Gerald R. Ford, the nation’s most advanced aircraft carrier, according to a statement from the Navy’s 2nd Fleet. The carrier and other US ships were scheduled to leave Norfolk on Monday for training exercises in the Atlantic Ocean with ships from other NATO nations.

Coastguard, municipal and private crews have used helicopters, boats and even jet skis to evacuate people over the past few days.

After moving through Florida, Ian made landfall in the United States in South Carolina as a much weaker hurricane. Officials said on Monday crews were finishing removing sand from coastal roads and nearly all power had been restored.

Associated Press reporters Rebecca Santana in Fort Myers; Brendan Farrington and Anthony Izaguirre in Tallahassee; David Fischer in Miami; Jeffrey Collins in Columbia, South Carolina; Sarah Rankin in Richmond, Va.; Sarah Brumfield in Silver Spring, Maryland; and Richard Lardner in Washington contributed to this report.

ABC News contributed to this report.

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