Rescuers looked for survivors in Florida and authorities in the Carolinas were waiting to assess damages as the remnants of Hurricane Ian moved up the Mid-Atlantic coast Saturday.
Ian has been reclassified as a post-tropical cyclone and is no longer considered a hurricane, but it is shaping up to be one of the strongest and costliest storms to hit the U.S. residents in Florida. At least 54 people are confirmed dead, including 47 in Florida, according to The Associated Press. Most of the deaths in Florida were from drowning, the news organization reported.
Here are the latest updates for Saturday, Oct. 1:
Hurricane Ian to death toll rises to 54, authorities say
Update 10:20 p.m. EDT Oct. 1: The death toll from Hurricane Ian rose to 47 in Florida, authorities said Saturday evening, bringing the global toll to at least 54 dead.
As of Saturday, over 1,000 people had been rescued from flooded areas along Florida’s southwestern coast alone, Daniel Hokanson, a four-star general and head of the National Guard told The Associated Press.
Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center issued its final advisory Saturday evening while what’s left of the storm slowly dissipates over southern Virginia.
Ian weakens as it moves through Virginia
Update 5:45 p.m. EDT Oct. 1: Post-tropical cyclone Ian continued to weaken as it moved across southern and central Virginia, the National Hurricane Center said.
In its 5 p.m. EDT advisory, the hurricane center said that Ian was located about 95 miles west-southwest of Richmond, and about 145 miles west of Norfolk.
The storm has slowed down considerably, moving east-northeast at 6 mph.
A low pressure system east-northeast of the storm is expected to lead to Ian’s dissipation on Sunday morning, the NHC said.
DeSantis: 54% of Florida residents have power back
Update 2:20 p.m. EDT Oct. 1: In a news conference in Fort Myers, Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis said that power had been restored to 54% of the people who had lost electricity as a result of Hurricane Ian.
However, southwest Florida still remains the area with the most customers without power. DeSantis said that 73% of Lee County residents remain without power, while to the north, Charlotte County has 77% without electricity.
The county most affected by power outages is Hardee County, located northeast of Fort Myers and east of Sarasota, with 88% of its residents still without power.
DeSantis added that there was more standing water in Central Florida than in the southwest part of the state.
“It (flooding) is creating a lot of problems, really all across the state,” the governor said.
1.3 million Florida residents still without power
Update 1:43 p.m. EDT Oct. 1: Approximately 1.3 million Florida residents are still without power since Hurricane Ian struck the peninsula, a Federal Emergency Management Administration official said during a news conference on Saturday afternoon.
FEMA Assistant Administrator Anne Bink said the agency is working with the Army Corps of Engineers to provide temporary power, while efforts to restore power statewide continue.
The Army Corps of Engineers is establishing “generating stations” in Florida, CNN reported.
130 homes northeast of Orlando damaged by Ian
Update 1:09 p.m. EDT Oct. 1: At least 130 homes in Seminole County, located northeast of Orlando, Florida, sustained sustained major damage, Alan Harris, the county’s emergency manager said Saturday, according to The New York Times.
That number could grow as rivers in the area crest over the next few days.
“Mother Nature is still moving water around, and homes that were not damaged when Hurricane Ian was on top of us are about to be damaged,” Harris said. “And homes that were damaged are about to get worse.”
NC man dies from carbon monoxide poisoning
Update 12:59 p.m. EDT Oct. 1: North Carolina authorities said a man may have died from carbon monoxide poisoning after he was found inside his home, where a gas-powered generator was still running.
The 65-year-old man, from Clayton, was found at about 7:30 a.m. EDT Saturday, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported. Authorities believe he was running the generator as post-tropical storm Ian moved through the area, The New York Times reported.
Clayton firefighters arriving at the home found a generator that was not properly vented, town spokesperson Nathanael Shelton told the News & Observer.
Johnston County emergency medical service personnel tried to revive the man but could not. The man’s wife was also in the home but was not injured, the newspaper reported.
North Port still has up to 8 feet of flooding
Update 12:33 p.m. EDT Oct. 1: Scott Titus, the fire chief of North Port, Florida, told CNN that the town still has 7 to 8 feet of flooding in some areas, and there will be a “long, long recovery period.”
Crews rescued about 150 people overnight, bringing them to shelters, Titus told the news organization.
“It appears that we have just kind of reached the crest today, and water will begin going down. But we’ve got 7, 8 feet on some street levels down there of water, up into the homes,” Titus said. “We are accessing houses with boats, with high-water vehicles, and trying to get people out of those affected areas that don’t have water, don’t have food. We have been balancing that with the emergency calls, trying to get into them.”
Lee County sheriff confirms 35 deaths
Update 11:38 a.m. EDT Oct. 1: Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno confirmed that 35 deaths have been confirmed in the county as a result of Hurricane Ian.
During a briefing Saturday morning, Marceno said the identities of the people killed have not been released publicly. The sheriff added that between 600 and 700 people have been rescued The New York Times reported.
“We’re out in full force,” Marceno said.
An official tally of deaths have not been released statewide. The Associated Press reported earlier that at least 30 deaths had been confirmed overall, including 27 in Florida
Seminole Tribe of Florida gets FEMA aid
Update 11:22 a.m. EDT Oct. 1: The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced Saturday that federal disaster assistance has been made available to the Seminole Tribe of Florida, the Naples Daily News reported. The approval of the action by President Joe Biden supplements tribal recovery efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Ian.
Assistance can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs as tribe members attempt to recover from the Category 4 storm, according to the newspaper.
The Seminole Tribe has a reservation in Collier County and a hotel and casino in Immokalee, the Daily News reported.
Biden approves emergency declaration for NC
Update 10:54 a.m. EDT Oct. 1: President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for North Carolina overnight following Hurricane Ian.
Biden ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions from the storm, WNCN-TV reported.
According to a news release from the White House, “The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, to coordinate all disaster relief efforts which have the purpose of alleviating the hardship and suffering caused by the emergency on the local population, and to provide appropriate assistance for required emergency measures, authorized under Title V of the Stafford Act, to save lives and to protect property and public health and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a catastrophe in all 100 North Carolina counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.”
Thousands without power in Virginia
Update 9:58 a.m. EDT Oct. 1: Power outages are being reported in Virginia as Ian, now a post-tropical cyclone, headed toward the state. As of 11 p.m. EDT Friday, approximately 94,717 customers were experiencing power outages, WRIC-TV reported.
At 9 a.m. EDT Saturday, Dominion Energy reported 38,119 customers without power in the company’s service area.
Southside Electric Cooperative, which serves counties between Petersburg and the North Carolina, reported that there were 3,707 customers without power. The Central Virginia Electric Cooperative reported that, as of 9:30 a.m. Saturday, a total of 2,193 customers were without power.
Broken levee could send 15 feet of water into Florida neighborhood
Update 8:48 a.m. EDT Oct. 1: Sarasota County’s automated alert system warned residents of a possible levee break in the Hidden River-Myakka Valley area of the county, authorities said.
“Possible levee break in the area of Hidden River/Myakka Valley with potential of 15 feet of flood water,” the text message alert, sent at 3:15 a.m. EDT, read, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune. “Residents are urged to shelter in place if it is safe to do so as exit routes and roadways may be impassable.”
That message was confirmed by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office later Saturday morning, according to the newspaper.
“For additional clarification, this levee compromise should not impact any other areas in Sarasota County including Venice or North Port,” Kaitlyn Perez, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office, wrote in an email. “At this time, deputies are working with Sarasota County Fire personnel to go door-to-door and advise residents of potential flooding.”
Florida interstate closed due to flooding
Update 7:56 a.m. EDT Oct. 1: Interstate 75 in Sarasota County was closed just before 10 p.m. EDT on Friday as the Myakka River flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, the Bradenton Herald reported.
“Major delays are expected in the area,” the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said in a news release, adding that the rising river no longer made the interstate safe for drivers.
The road was closed for a 14-mile stretch, with motorists forced to take alternate routes from either direction.
Ian’s remnants bring heavy rains to Carolinas, Virginia
Update 7:13 a.m. EDT Oct. 1: The National Hurricane Center issued its final advisory on Ian, now a post-tropical cyclone, at 5 a.m. EDT. The system was located 30 miles south of Greensboro, North Carolina, and still had maximum sustained winds of 35 mph.
The storm was moving north-northwest at 12 mph.
Ian was expected to move across central North Carolina on Saturday morning and reach south-central Virginia by the afternoon. The system is expected to dissipate over south-central Virginia by Saturday night, according to the hurricane center.
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