May 18, 2024

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Ian downgraded to post-tropical cyclone, Florida officials report high death toll

Ian downgraded to post-tropical cyclone, Florida officials report high death toll

FEMA, Coast Guard, American Red Cross, and Army Corps of Engineers on Hurricane Ian Relief in Florida

On a conference call Saturday morning, officials from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Weather Service and the American Red Cross provided an update on recovery and relief efforts in the wake of the outbreak. Devastation from Hurricane Ian in Florida.

There are nine river gauges, said Michael Mosher, of the NWS, now indicating record flooding across Florida.

He also noted the occurrence of daytime and coastal flooding in northeastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia.

And while recoveries continue, Mosher said the weather forecast looks “really good” for the next four to five days.

Next, brig brig. Gen. Daniel Hepner said the Army Corps has focused on critical infrastructure and utility assessments reported at the Lee County Water Distribution Center, as well as the establishment of a generation stage base.

“We are also aware of the Upper Kissimmee Flood and the flood that is happening there. We are responding. We are sending a team of experts to make an assessment of what is happening there,” he added.

Annie Pink, associate director of the Office of Response and Recovery, told reporters that the priority remains for land and sea search and rescue operations.

“We are actively collecting data on the ground as we speak from additional counties so we can continue to add it to a major disaster declaration to enhance eligibility for assistance,” she said, noting that staff at shelters provide and register people for individuals. help.

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She noted that approximately 240 generators are being installed on the ground in the affected areas and that at least 145 health care facilities were damaged by the cyclone.

US Coast Guard Commander Admiral Brendan Macpherson said the Coast Guard has rescued more than 400 people since sunrise and nearly 4,000 people have been rescued and assisted from the entire Unified Command.

While there were a few cases of people who were in urgent need of medical help, more people were “simply stranded”.

The American Red Cross’s senior director of integrated field communications, Anthony Torneta, said the organization has been providing meals to communities and has dozens of emergency response vehicles in Florida.

“I can assure you that in the coming days, weeks and months, the American Red Cross will continue to provide support to those affected,” he said.

Asked about the death toll, Pink said FEMA knows 23 confirmed deaths and reports of others.

She said nearly 10,000 people are now sheltering.

There is no good estimate of the number of people stranded, MacPherson said, adding that Sanibel “will be out of service for some time.”

The Atlantic hurricane season lasts until November 30. And while the Atlantic is still relatively calm for now, Pink told Fox News Digital that the administration was “purpose-built.”

“This is what we do. We have many levers at our disposal. We have a large cadre of reservists who are really the backbone of this agency who are doing the work in the field every day after a disaster. We also have a surge capacity force that has been delegated by the Secretary of the Department of Security National, which also frees interagency volunteers to help support the effort,” she replied. “We have many tools at our disposal to also include local employees who bring efficiency in all areas we serve. Therefore, there are many tools at our disposal and we are ready. And that is what we do.”

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