It was on September 28 this year that Hurricane Ian finally made a landfall in Florida, Southwest Florida to be precise, in the form of a hazardous Category 4 storm after having caused ample destruction in the Caribbean. The only respite was that as it traversed the Floridian peninsula, it petered into a tropical storm.
When Hurricane Ian made its first appearance on Florida’s shores, its wind speed was 150 mph and it was the fifth most powerful hurricane to have struck the United States. If we only talk of Florida, it was the strongest since Hurricane Michael that arrived 4 years back.
Hurricane Ian was particularly severe on the western coast of Florida, bringing along strong winds, torrential rainfall, and calamitous storm surges. On the southwestern coast, a storm surge reached an unprecedented height of 18 feet and a similar never-seen-before incident took place in the city of Fort Myers as well.
Although Hurricane Ian weakened in intensity on entering the mainland, it nevertheless caused heavy downpours that were destructive in nature and resulted in deluges that were said to be once-in-a-thousand-year occurrences. 15 to 17 inches of rain for 12 to 24 hours were reported in a couple of places.
Power failure was imminent and as many as 4 million denizens of Florida had to make do without electricity for a good amount of time. Interestingly, the situation hasn’t become completely normal yet, what with hundreds of thousands of Floridians still awaiting power supply. Casualties could just not be averted and insurance companies are now required to recompense the insured for losses running into billions.
President Biden opined about Hurricane Ian that it could be the deadliest in the history of Florida. Besides causing boats to capsize and people to drown, Hurricane Ian was responsible for indirect deaths and forced a few to commit suicide.
Florida Keys and the Gold Coast
The city of Key West in Florida witnessed its third biggest storm surge after 1913. A tropical storm surprisingly caused fire outbreaks too that engulfed both residential and commercial units. While several streets became impassable, outhouses and sheds in particular had to bear the brunt of the ravages of the gale.
Right through the Florida Keys, Hurricane Ian rendered around 150 ferries, liners, and more parked ashore unstable. Before Hurricane Ian made its first landfall in Florida, there were tornado touchdowns in the southern part of this state, causing hangars and the aircraft stationed in them to sustain severe damage. These tornadoes were powerful enough to uproot trees, overturn cars, shatter windows, destroy roofs, and cause power failures.
No sooner did Hurricane Ian make a landfall in Southwest Florida as a category 4 storm, than the weather department started issuing warnings of extreme winds, flashfloods, and heavy rains. Storm surge became a particular cause for concern for Southwest Florida, with some areas expected to witness 6-18 feet of storm surges, leading to severe damage.
Naples, a prominent city in the Gulf of Mexico in Southwest Florida, witnessed considerable devastation. A lot of people were trapped as result of rising coastal floodwaters and made frantic rescue calls. Water made its way to the first floor of parking garages, causing reasonable damage to cars. A fire station was inundated and all its equipment was harmed. In Naples alone, the damage caused by Hurricane Ian amounted to nearly USD 1000 million.
Besides Naples, Hurricane Ian caused damage worth USD 256 million in Marco Island, USD 7.1 million in Everglades City, and USD 948 million in unregistered places. In Collier County, only building damage amounted to USD 2.2 billion.
Lee County in Southwest Florida faced disastrous consequences as a result of Hurricane Ian in general and storm surge in particular, which on combining with strong winds caused minor and major damage to more than 50,000 structures. Building damage was estimated at USD 6.8 billion.
Commuting was disrupted in Sanibel as the Sanibel Causeway caved in and was washed away in the storm, blocking any type of vehicle access to the island. Hurricane Ian caused a similar damage to the Matlacha Bridge, hampering the connection between Pine Island and the mainland.
Myakka River in Southwest Florida one day reached a flood level of 12.55 ft. and with water entering the nearby highway, a long stretch was forced to shut down. The city of Venice too had to stop water supply to the Venice Island but it has now been restored.
Many inland counties in Southwest Florida experienced torrential rainfall while Hurricane Ian lasted and in Highlands County, wind speed reached 78 mph and almost 90% of the county was without electricity for a while.
Talking of central Florida, erosion damage along the coast amounted to around USD 6 million. In Osceola County, serious flooding impacted both businesses and residences and private property damage totaled to about USD 148 million. The worst floods were witnessed around Lake Center and in areas of St. Cloud and Kissimmee.
In Polk County, Hurricane Ian caused wind speed to reach 75 mph and 35% customers did not have electricity for some time. The storm caused minor damage to around 800 structures and major damage to around 200 ones.
The many lakes of Orlando overflowed, causing flooding in most neighborhoods of this city wherein around 250 people were saved. In Orange County alone, property damage was evaluated at USD 206 million and in Seminole County, the figure was even higher, totaling to around USD 241 million. Meanwhile, in Volusia County, 247,000 customers did not have power temporarily but the damage cost was comparatively smaller, summing up to USD 128 million.
Melbourne, which happens to be to the south of Central Florida, saw an EF0 tornado spawned by Hurricane Ian causing damage only to trees and not buildings. Kennedy Space Center witnessed wind gusts traveling at 108 mph but only minor damage was sustained.
Similar instances as the ones discussed above were reported elsewhere in Florida as well.
If you are also one of those unfortunate ones who is now reeling in the aftereffects of Hurricane Ian and is desperately looking for someone who can expedite your damage claim and fetch you a satisfactory reward, one person who can come to your aid is Benito Paul, a renowned public adjuster in Florida with a commendable track record. To his credit, Benito has written endless estimates for the top public adjusting and law companies and settled claim worth millions. Benito has ample experience and expertise to confront any insurance organization, however large or established it is, and now is perhaps the right time to seek the services of a man who himself is quite keen to assist the populace of Florida who are eagerly awaiting the return of normalcy post the havoc caused by Hurricane Ian.