From the emergency operations center in Tallahassee, Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis called Hurricane Ian the “worst flood in 500 years.”
“Even with the hurricane passing, the level of water that’s still rising today is basically the worst flooding in 500 years,” DeSantis said during a Thursday morning news conference.
In addition to DeSantis, First Lady Casey DeSantis, Emergency Management Division Manager Kevin Guthrie, Coast Guard Admiral Brendan McPherson and other officials attended the event.
“This storm has widespread impacts across the state, and record-breaking flooding in areas hundreds of miles from where Ian made landfall,” DeSantis added.
The governor said he spoke with President Biden Thursday morning. He said the state has received a “major calamity declaration for nine districts”.
“Currently, we have permits for Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardy, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota,” DeSantis said.
“Those who need and qualify for assistance can visit FEMA.gov or you can call 1-800-621-3262,” the governor explained. “Make sure you take a photo of the waterline in your home, so we can help them quickly,” DeSantis added.
He also mentioned that 26 states have supported.
“The impacts of this storm are historic. The damage left behind is historic, taking only preliminary estimates into account,” he added.
“We’ve never seen a storm surge of this magnitude,” DeSantis said, “and it will take years of effort to rebuild and recover.”
The governor pointed out that power poles and trees were down and “it continues to be a dangerous situation.”
“For those who need life support now, help will come,” DeSantis said.
“It’s about identifying people who need help today,” DeSantis said.
“Two unconfirmed deaths, we don’t know if they are related to the cyclone. I mean, our guess is that it probably is, basically the authorities will make that assessment and then it will be reported,” he said in response to a question about the reported deaths.
“When it (Ian) leaves the state, it goes into the Atlantic Ocean and affects other states in our country,” DeSantis said.
He also mentioned that there is a possibility of flooding in the neighboring states of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.
“They’re going to have to deal with this hurricane that’s going to be devastating in our state, but it’s going to wreak havoc on communities in the southeastern part of the United States,” DeSantis said.
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