Major Destruction in Southwest Florida from Hurricane Ian
Hurricane Ian Tears Through Florida, Leaving Billions of Dollars of Property Damage
Florida begins to emerge from the beating of Hurricane Ian- but not without devastating damage to tens of thousands of homes and businesses- many of which cease to exist.
Extreme winds, repeated storm surges, and excessive flooding rendered much of the state’s south coast derelict and uninhabitable, with Lee County taking the brunt of the hit. Insurers anticipate a figure of $42 billion worth of property damage losses- with more realistic numbers reaching as high as $57 billion if all affected areas are taken into consideration.
This figure does not include any of the losses covered by the National Flood Insurance Program put in place by the US Government- which could push the top estimate of total damage closer to $60 billion. Florida alone accounts for just under $50 billion of that damage- according to leading property data analysis companies.
Millions of Homes and Businesses Left Without Power
Over the course of the storm surges, more than 2 million people were left without power. At some points, almost every property across the three worst-hit counties had no electricity.
Amongst the impacted buildings was a major hospital- the roof of which partially collapsed, cutting off vital power to intensive care units and other wards. Across more than 150 healthcare facilities, roughly 7000 patients were evacuated for treatment elsewhere due to building damage rendering it impossible to provide sufficient care.
During the weekend, the extent of the damage continued to be felt. More than 1.1 million properties remained powerless. Luckily, as of Monday, the number dropped to around 600,000 as some flooding started to recede and conditions became slightly safer for some home and business owners.
The Full Extent of the Damage is Not Yet Clear
Parts of Florida remain heavily flooded, with rescue crews continuing to proactively search for people in need of assistance. It is hard to know exactly how many properties have been damaged or even destroyed, but the figure is sure to be painfully high.
Entire areas have been wiped out, including Fort Myers Beach and Pier. Stretches of homes lie in pieces, with neighborhoods reduced to little more than rubble. All of Florida’s most affected counties will feel the impact of this disaster for years to come.
It has been called a once in 500-year event, and President Joe Biden shared fears that it could be one of the deadliest, most devasting storms in recent US history.