(NewsNation) — Rescue teams search for survivors among the wreckage of a flooded Florida home from Hurricane Ian as authorities in South Carolina assess the damage from an attack there as remnantsHione of the strongest and most expensive hurricanes to ever hit the US continues to push north.
A mighty storm terrorized millions of people, beat western Cubabefore sweeping Florida from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico into the Atlantic Ocean, where it mustered enough strength for the final attack in South Carolina.
Now weakening into a post-tropical hurricane, Ian is expected to move across central North Carolina on Saturday and reach south-central Virginia in the afternoon.
At least 50 people confirmed dead, including 46 people in Florida mostly from drowning but others from the hurricane’s tragic impact. An elderly couple died after their oxygen engine died when they lost power, authorities said.
NewsNation’s Brooke Shafer crossed a bridge near Fort Myers on Saturday that was still closed to private vehicles as rescue crews were still struggling to find survivors and survivors of the storm.
The Florida Task Force 2 SAR team said they had rescued more than 750 people from storms on the island.
Four people have been reported dead in North Carolina, according to release from Governor Roy Cooperincluding victims of two traffic accidents and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Evan Lambert of NewsNation report Governor McMaster insisted there were currently no hurricane-related deaths in South Carolina, but there was “a lot of clean-up to be done.”
As of Saturday, more than 1,000 people had been rescued from flooded areas along Florida’s southwest coast alone, Daniel Hokanson, a four-star general and head of the National Guard, told The Associated Press as it airs to Florida.
Meanwhile, desperate residents waded through knee-deep water, salvaging whatever possessions they could from their flooded homes and loading them onto rafts and canoes.
Hurricane Ian may have caused “more than $100 billion” in damage, including $63 billion in privately insured losses, according to disaster modeling firm Karen Clark & Co., which regularly publishes flash disaster forecasts. If those numbers prove to be true, it would make Ian at least the fourth most expensive hurricane in US history.
“I wanted to sit in the corner and cry. I don’t know what else to do,” said Stevie Scuderi after rummaging through his mostly destroyed apartment in Fort Myers, the mud in his kitchen clinging to his purple sandals.
In South Carolina, Ian Center lands near Georgetown, a small community along Winyah Bay about 60 miles north of historic Charleston. The storm washed away part of the four piers along the coast, including two connected to the popular tourist town of Myrtle Beach.
The storm winds on Friday were much weaker than during Ian’s landing on the Florida Gulf Coast earlier this week. Authorities and volunteers there are still assessing the damage as shocked residents try to understand what they’ve just experienced.
Anthony Rivera, 25, said he had to climb through a first-floor apartment window during a storm to get his grandmother and girlfriend to the second floor. As they scrambled to escape the rising water, a storm surge had sunk the boat right next to his apartment.
“It was the scariest thing in the world because I couldn’t stop the boat,” he said. “I’m not Superman.”
Even though Ian had been through Florida for a long time, new problems kept popping up. The 14-mile stretch of Interstate 75 was closed Friday night in both directions in the Port Charlotte area due to a large mountain of water inundating the Myakka River.
“The water was up over the roof, true, but we had a Coast Guard rescue swimmer swimming into it and he was able to identify that it appeared to be human remains. We don’t know exactly how many,” Guthrie said.