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    Florida Rescue Efforts Underway; Lee County Sheriff Says Fatalities Could Be in the Hundreds

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    Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday afternoon. It was reduced to a tropical storm on Thursday morning, and search and rescue efforts commenced. Some estimate that the hurricane might cause hundreds of fatalities.

    WEAR-TV reported that Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno warned “Good Morning America” on Thursday that the hurricane might cause hundreds of deaths.

    Lee County is located on the Gulf Coast of Florida, and Fort Myers is located there. The region was the heaviest damaged by Hurricane Ian, according to Yale Climate Connections.

    Thursday morning, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also conducted a news conference in which he stated that the allegations are unsubstantiated and that Marceno’s statistics are only approximations. He stressed that rescue efforts are now ongoing.

    “None of that is confirmed. I think, what that is, is there were 911 calls for people saying, ‘Hey, the water is rising in my home. I’m going to go up in the attic, but I’m really worried.’ Of course those folks are now going to be checked on, and so I think you’ll have more clarity about that in the next day or so as they’re able to go to those locations and determine whether people need services or are able to be rescued,” DeSantis said.

    “My sense is that water was very, very high. But my hope is that if folks did go higher if they were there — it’s not comfortable — but now we’re in a situation, I mean, if you’re there, they want to come get you. And so hopefully we’ll be able to see a lot of those people brought to safety. I can tell you, in the barrier islands, there have been a number of people helicoptered to safety. …That number that was put out by Lee is basically an estimate of ‘Hey, these people were calling, the water was rising on their home, they may not have ended up getting through.’ We’re obviously hoping that they can be rescued at this point,”  DeSantis continued.

    Hurricane Ian struck the area on Wednesday with gusts of 150 miles per hour and a “life-threatening storm surge,” according to NBC News.

    NBC claimed that 2.5 million Floridians were without power as of Thursday morning.

    However, as search and rescue operations commence, Marceno told locals that his agency is prepared to assist.

    “Our Mobile Command Center is ready to respond and assist with search and rescue along with our other assets. We are here for our community! ” posted the Lee County Sheriff’s Office on Facebook.

    More on this story via The Western Journal:

    The sheriff’s office also posted a phone number for people to call for welfare checks and said to call 911 only for emergencies. CONTINUE READING…

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