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

An aerial image taken on September 30, 2022 shows the only access to the Matlacha area devastated by Hurricane Yan in Fort Myers, Florida.

Ricardo Arduengo | AFP | Getty Images

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

At least 77 people have died and more than 860,000 people are still without power. NBC News. Florida’s West Coast has suffered “significant damage” and many homes in central parts of the state are still under water, Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Dina Criswell said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

According to her, the road to recovery will be long.

“We’re still actively engaged in search and rescue, trying to make sure we account for everyone who gets in the path of the hurricane and that we go around every house to make sure we don’t leave anyone behind,” she said.

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

“They left before dawn on Thursday,” Criswell said. “They’re still there today.”

Sen. Rick Scott of Florida echoed the sentiment, drawing attention to concerns about the rebuilding of Florida’s mobile home parks and the need for potentially stricter building codes. He said these decisions should be made by each county.

“You don’t want this kind of thing to happen again,” he said Sunday in an interview with NBC’s Meet the Press. “I think each county will have to look at it and say, ‘Does this make sense for their county.’

Commenting on the overall recovery efforts, Scott addressed the problems in the property insurance market, noting that insurance fraud is hurting some companies in Florida or preventing others from doing business in the state.

“You should have stricter building codes,” he said. “You have to make sure you learn from every storm, and besides that, you have to make sure there is no scam.”

President Joe Biden will visit Florida on Wednesday to meet with officials and assess storm damage, the White House said Saturday.

He will also visit Puerto Rico as recovery work is underway there after Hurricane Fiona hit the island in September as a Category 1 storm.

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

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