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Search and rescue efforts underway in Florida after ‘catastrophic’ hurricane


An aerial photo taken September 30, 2022 shows the only access to the destroyed Matlacha neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Florida.

Ricardo Arduengo | AFP | Getty Images

Search and rescue efforts are underway in Florida after a devastating Category 4 hurricane made landfall on Wednesday.

At least 77 people have been confirmed dead and more than 860,000 people remain without power, according to NBC News. There is “significant damage” along Florida’s west coast and many homes in central parts of the state are still under water, FEMA Director Deanne Criswell told ABC on Sunday. “This week”.

She said the road to recovery was going to be long.

“We are still actively in the search and rescue phase, trying to make sure that we account for everyone who was in the storm’s path, and that we go through every house to make sure we don’t leave anyone behind. behind,” she said.

Criswell said Hurricane Ian was “catastrophic” and officials knew it would have a significant impact on Florida residents. A large number of federal and state search and rescue resources were in place and ready to go out “immediately” after the storm, she said.

“They were out before daylight on Thursday,” Criswell said. “They are still there today.”

Senator Rick Scott of Florida echoed that sentiment while addressing concerns about rebuilding mobile home parks in Florida and the need for potentially tougher building codes. He said those decisions should be decided by each county.

“You never want these things to happen again,” he said during an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “I think every county is going to have to look at this and say, ‘Does this make sense for their county. “”

Commenting on overall recovery efforts, Scott addressed concerns in the property insurance market, noting that insurance fraud hurts some businesses in Florida or discourages others from doing business in the state.

“You need to have stricter building codes,” he said. “You have to make sure you learn from every storm and on top of that you have to make sure there’s no cheating.”

President Joe Biden will travel to Florida on Wednesday to meet with officials and assess the damage caused by the storm, the White House announced on Saturday.

He will also travel to Puerto Rico as it struggles to recover from Hurricane Fiona, which hit the island as a Category 1 storm in September.

“We will do everything we can to get these communities back on their feet,” Biden said on Twitter.