'Unlivable' Homes On Islands, 'Alligators Running Around' Amid Ian Recovery

By Jason Hall

October 4, 2022

Hurricane Ian damage in Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
Photo: Getty Images

Sanibel Island, one of the areas hit hardest by Hurricane Ian, is now cut off from the Florida peninsula, which has resulted in a heavy presence of alligators and snakes, as rescue efforts continue.

“There are a lot places that are not livable. There are places off their foundation, and it’s very dangerous out there,” Sanibel Fire Chief William Briscoe said via CNN. “There are alligators running around, and there are snakes all over the place.”

Briscoe said 1,000 people have been evacuated from Sanibel since Hurricane Ian made its way through Florida last week.

At least 101 people in Florida were reported to have died in relation to the hurricane, including 54 from Lee County, according to CNN. Four more people in North Carolina are reported to have died in relation to Ian.

The devastation brought on by Hurricane Ian has led to the largest ever search-and-rescue effort launched by the Federal Emergency Management Administration.

"We pre-positioned the largest amount of search-and-rescue assets that I think we've ever put in place before," FEMA chief Deanne Criswell told FOX News Sunday.

Recovery efforts are ongoing in Florida and the Carolinas after the hurricane left a path of destruction throughout the week.

PowerOutage.us reports 435,898 Florida residents were still without power as of Tuesday (October 4) morning.

President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in Florida after Ian made landfall on Wednesday afternoon and ordered federal aid to help in state and local recovery efforts in areas directly affected, the White House confirmed in a statement obtained by NBC News.

Ian made landfall on Wednesday (September 28) near Cayo Costa as a Category 4 hurricane with winds reaching up to 150 MPH, making it one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded in Florida, according to NBC News forecasters.

Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday (September 29) before strengthening back into a hurricane prior to making landfall in South Carolina on Friday (September 30).

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