Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc in southwest Florida after a 6ft storm surge swept through the idyllic coastal town of Fort Myers destroying houses as water engulfed two-story houses. As the monstrous storm finally made landfall on Wednesday, horrifying footage showed wave after wave pounding the city, where an extreme wind alert is presently in effect.
A severe wind warning is in effect, and Fort Myers has been overtaken by an 18-foot storm surge as hotel guests filmed belongings floating out of the structures. According to reports, the water is rising at an alarming rate. Footage from the same camera just an hour apart shows the place getting submerged.
Force of Nature
The first video, shot from a six-foot-high vantage point at the Lani Kai Resort, depicts swiftly moving water flooding the pavement and floating away the garbage. The camera was covered with water and occasionally completely submerged one hour later.
An hour later, the same camera captured incredibly choppy waves that are seen overflowing what was previously a street. How long the camera will stay attached is unknown. Other social media footage showed flooded homes, downed power lines igniting fireballs, and even sharks swimming in the floodwaters.
A second video depicts the "unsurvivable" stream of water devouring the tropical resort's palm trees and ripping some of them from their roots as it was pushed ahead by 155 mph winds—the fastest storm ever to impact land.
Additionally, more than a million residents in the state remain without power, many of them in Lee County, which includes Fort Myers and the nearby city of Cape Coral, which was also severely damaged by the hurricane.
On Wednesday afternoon, Ian, a Category 4 hurricane with 155 mph winds, made ashore.
Fort Myers, which is under an unenforceable mandatory evacuation, is directly in its path. The storm is expected to move northeast from there, likely affecting Florida's east coast cities of Tampa, Orlando, and possibly Jacksonville.
"This storm is doing a number on the state of Florida," Governor Ron DeSantis said, telling citizens to expect the storm to move through the state today and 'much of tomorrow."
Large Scale Devastation
Apocalyptic pictures from after the first surge showed homes wrecked by its wrath as roadways transformed into rivers with the tsunami of floodwater, making Fort Myers one of the first cities to be hammered by Ian.
The "historic" hurricane also shook Naples and Sanibel Island, where homes were inundated with water, debris was thrown through windows, and several doors were torn off their hinges by the unprecedented flooding.
Locals in Naples, where the majority of the population is old, are reporting that hundreds of individuals are stranded on their rooftops.
The sheriff's office in neighboring Martin County confirmed one death. The body of 34-year-old construction worker Cody Dudek was found face down in the ocean close to Palm City. The governors of Virginia, North, and South Carolina have all proclaimed states of emergency in anticipation of impending damage as the hurricane moves north toward central Florida.
While the hurricane pounded the shore and approached Category 5, the Florida governor urged people who chose to brave the storm to remain in their homes or emergency shelters.
Brian Kemp, the governor of Georgia, proactively declared an emergency and put 500 National Guard soldiers on alert to assist if needed.
As the 'very hazardous' hurricane moves northward into the Sunshine State, where meteorologists have warned that it should reach landfall around 4 pm, photos illustrate the depth of the damage left in its path.
DeSantis said that a million properties have lost power, while the Florida Power and Light Company recorded 17,255 outages in several Florida counties. More than 6,700 outages occurred in Broward, compared to 5,700 in Miami-Dade.