Florida residents endure flooding, lost power, and more catastrophic damage as Hurricane Ian makes its way up the east coast of the United States. Follow Breitbart News for live updates on this breaking story. All times eastern.
10:20 AM — The governor described the storm as “basically a 500 year flood event.”
“Right now if you look in Central Florida, you’re looking at potential major flooding … in Seminole County’s St. Johns River all the way up potentially into Northeast Florida in Jacksonville,” he said.
“The amount of water that’s been rising and will likely continue to rise today even as the storm is passing is basically a 500 year flood event,” he added.
10:04 AM — DeSantis said they have received a major disaster declaration for nine counties, but they expect more.
“I just spoke with the President this morning. He offered support. I told them that thanks for this but because the storm has moved inland and caused a lot of potential damage in the center part of our state, that we’re going to be asking for those counties to be expanded and included there,” DeSantis said.
9:57 AM –– Columnist Craig Pittman is yet another who has attempted to politicize the storm, contending in a Florida Phoenix op-ed that the governor is “afraid” to mention the term “climate change.” In fact, the title of his entire diatribe is “A vote to reelect Florida Gov. DeSantis is a vote for more Hurricane Ians.”
Column: A vote to re-elect #Florida @GovRonDeSantis is a vote for hurricanes like #HurricaneIan. My latest for @FLPhoenixNews also features shout-outs to Megan Thee Stallion, Harry Potter and Aaron Judge. https://t.co/seCuLtpgAq #climate
— Craig Pittman (@craigtimes) September 29, 2022
“As our hurricanes grow stronger, our storm surges get higher because of sea level rise and our rainfall grows heavier because a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture, but don’t expect him to do diddly about it,” he wrote, concluding that the governor is “in favor of all those things.”
As Breitbart News has detailed, DeSantis’s team has dismissed such claims, consistently reminding leftists that Florida has experienced hurricanes “throughout recorded history.”
9:50 AM –– Sarasota County and Lee County, which DeSantis said are essentially “off the grid,” will likely require a rebuilding of infrastructure to reconnect power.
“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,” he said, noting that crews are on their way now.
“But that’s going to be more than just connecting a power line back to back to a pole,” he said. “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.”
9:41 AM — DeSantis confirmed reports of 2.02 million power outages across the state thus far.
“Lee and Charlotte are basically off the grid at this point,” he said during this morning’s press conference.
9:34 AM — Gov. Ron DeSantis delivered an 8:45 update and said first responders descended on southwest Florida as soon as the storm passed. He said the Coast Guard has been performing rescue missions and Florida National Guard assets are participating.
9:09 AM — Florida residents have reported over 2 million power outages — 2,021,206 — per the Florida Division of Emergency Management’s latest update.
The 6AM update reports 2,021,206 power outages as a result of damages caused by #HurricaneIan.
Restoration crews are beginning to deploy into impacted areas. For estimated restoration times, please contact your service provider. pic.twitter.com/wbqX5dLdtj
— FL Division of Emergency Management (@FLSERT) September 29, 2022
9:05 AM — Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno — Lee County is where the then-hurricane made landfall — told ABC’s Good Morning America that the “fatalities are in the hundreds.” That number has not been confirmed.
“There are thousands of people that are waiting to be rescued, “ he said, adding that they cannot give a “true assessment until we’re actually on scene.”
Hoping he’s wrong, but Lee County, Fla. Sheriff Carmine Marceno says it’s “confirmed” there are “fatalities in the hundreds” #HurricaneIan pic.twitter.com/WtJCfWPwb4
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) September 29, 2022
9:01 AM – Ian has weakened to a Tropical Storm.
Tropical Storm #Ian Advisory 27A: Ian Producing Catastrophic Flooding Over East-Central Florida. Forecast to Produce Life-Threatening Flooding, Storm Surge and Gusty Winds Across Portions of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas. https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 29, 2022