The state is reeling from the storm, which put Lee and Charlotte counties “off the grid,” according to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). Because of that, they will likely require a rebuilding of infrastructure.
“Sarasota has a quarter of a million without power. Hillsborough 222,000. Pinellas 150,000. Manatee 129,000. The Charlotte and Lee reconnects are really going to likely have to be rebuilding of that infrastructure,” DeSantis said during a Thursday morning press conference.
“But that’s going to be more than just connecting a power line back to a pole,” he continued. “The other counties likely are not going to require the extent of the structural rebuild, but of course that’s going to be assessed as the day goes on.”
Roughly 2 million remained without power on Friday, as tens of thousands of linemen work to restore power and emergency crews assess the widespread damage across the state.
Powerful images continue to surface across social media, showing what is left of buildings, bridges, and battered beaches. Some of the most devastating images are coming from Fort Myers Beach:
An 11 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) shows Ian, which strengthened back into a hurricane after being downgraded to a Tropical Storm, barreling toward the South Carolina coast with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph.