(CNN) – Hit notably arduous by Hurricane Ian, the Fort Myers space of southwest Florida is in ruins.
“It is horrible,” Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson informed CNN’s John Berman Friday morning on the devastated metropolis marina, with boats strewn about and cement slabs ripped from the water and onto land. “Have a look at a few of these docks. They might weigh a ton… and had been thrown round like they had been nothing.
“There are some huge boats they usually’re thrown round like they’re toys.”
Fort Myers Seashore, situated on a 7-mile-long island alongside the Gulf of Mexico, skilled “full devastation, catastrophic,” Fort Myers Seashore Councilman Dan Allers mentioned Friday. “These are the phrases that come to thoughts if you see what you see.”
He additionally mentioned the images present the injury however do not “give the magnitude of precisely what it’s”.
The Lee County Sheriff’s Workplace referred to as Fort Myers Seashore “impassable” Friday morning.
“We hear you. We perceive that you’ve got family members on the island,” the sheriff’s workplace mentioned, noting that it’s not secure to drive there. “Bicycles cannot even undergo clear paths.”
Helicopter footage confirmed rubble and empty heaps the place houses and different buildings had been washed away in Fort Myers Seashore, the place solely residents had been allowed to drive throughout the bridge Friday morning.
You speak about there being no extra construction. You are speaking about … homes thrown into the bay. It is a long-term and life-changing resolution,” mentioned Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno.
Florida Division of Emergency Administration Director Kevin Guthrie mentioned Friday that an unknown variety of our bodies have been discovered at a house in Lee County. Crews will want tow water and particular tools to search out out extra.
Additionally Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis mentioned Lee County has requested help from FEMA after a water major break occurred of their county water major, that means the county is with out water at the moment.
‘I’ve by no means seen something like this’
Bobby Pratt mentioned he has lived in Fort Myers all his life.
“I’ve by no means seen something prefer it earlier than,” he mentioned. His roof, porch and fence had been broken.
Within the metropolis of Fort Myers, rescuers have reached greater than 200 individuals within the space, and hearth officers consider there are not any individuals left to rescue, Anderson mentioned.
Energy traces and bushes are down, so circumstances stay harmful and the town is attempting to scrub up.
“We wish individuals to remain house,” Anderson mentioned. “It is not secure there.”
Allers informed CNN’s Don Lemon Thursday night time that his metropolis was destroyed.
“I might say 90% of the island is just about gone,” Allers mentioned. “Until you have got a high-rise or a more recent concrete home constructed to the identical requirements at present, your home is just about gone.”
Allers informed CNN that many individuals within the metropolis struggled to get to larger floor amid the storm surge.
“I’ve heard tales of individuals going into freezers and operating freezers into one other house … and being rescued by higher-up houses,” Allers mentioned.
“Each house on the seaside is gone,” Allers informed CNN. “A number of the homes within the aspect streets are fully gone, and there may be nothing however a water gap.”
Alers had been evacuated to larger floor in the course of the storm. He later found that his own residence was misplaced.
On Friday, he requested for federal assist.
“I do not know if anybody in Washington can hear this: If you happen to can ship assist, we’d like it.”
Metropolis of Fort Myers ‘continuously responding’
Liz Bello-Matthews, a spokeswoman for the town of Fort Myers, mentioned Friday on CNN that safety staff had been “continuously responding … It was actually continuous.”
She mentioned many residents are struggling, though none of them have but to be out of hassle. There isn’t a web or electrical energy, and lots of elements of the town shouldn’t have water.
“We’re nonetheless simply shifting ahead and attempting to verify we’re there once they want us,” she mentioned.
Shelters are open, together with a big one that’s underutilized, she mentioned.
“The sources are there. They’re nonetheless open. We nonetheless have sources in these shelters and that is the place we’re taking individuals to go proper now to be secure if their house is simply not livable,” she mentioned.
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