FORT MYERS, Fla. — Ian’s devastation began to come into focus a day after making landfall in Florida as one of the strongest hurricanes ever to hit the U.S.
The storm flooded homes on both the state’s coasts, cut off the only bridge to a barrier island, destroyed a historic waterfront pier and knocked out electricity to 2.67 million Florida homes and businesses. The death toll continues to rise.
Images from the Fort Myers area, a few miles west of where Ian struck land, showed homes ripped from their slabs and deposited among shredded wreckage. Businesses near the beach were completely razed, leaving just twisted debris. Broken docks floated at odd angles beside damaged boats, and fires smoldered on lots where houses once stood.
A chunk of the Sanibel Causeway fell into the sea, cutting off access to the barrier island where 6,300 people live. It was unknown how many heeded orders to evacuate, but Charlotte County Emergency Management Director Patrick Fuller expressed cautious optimism.
The aerial photos below capture the devastation from this monstrous Category 4 storm:
Fort Myers Beach
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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