The Point, Oct. 3, 2022: Scenes from Southwest Florida following Hurricane Ian

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Rescue and recovery after Ian

• WUFT News: Lifelines after landfall: Southwest Florida grapples with Hurricane Ian’s impact. “Residents quickly rallied to return to some sense of normalcy, sorting through rubbish as sewage leaked out of manholes into the river. The air was still tainted by the smell of gasoline and oil.”

• NPR News: Hurricane Ian has killed at least 81 people in Florida, officials say. “The youngest victim was 22 and the oldest was 95. The vast majority of the deaths were attributed to drowning.”

• New York Times ($): On Sanibel Island, a Search for Stranded Residents Slogs On. “Cut off from family, friends and supplies by Sanibel Causeway’s partial collapse, the islands’ residents who had stayed and survived were stranded. About 200 households on Sanibel, which has a year-round population of about 6,500, had not evacuated despite mandatory orders.”

• WGCU-Fort Myers: Pine Island, tip to tip, ripped to shreds by Hurricane Ian’s passage. “Fort Myers photographer Kinfay Moroti got access to Pine Island Friday and found an island in tatters. From Bokeelia to St. James City and Matlacha, the barrier island was battered and shredded by Ian’s powerful winds.”

• WUFT News: Cape Coral residents deal with limited food and water supplies after Hurricane Ian devastated the area. “The Lee County government announced Saturday that they have opened 8 Points of Distribution (PODS) where residents will be able to pick up free food, supplies and ice. At one distribution point in Cape Coral however, food supplies disappeared quickly.”

• WUSF-Tampa Bay: People displaced by Hurricane Ian share their stories from a Lee County shelter. “Hertz Arena in Estero, which is usually home to the minor-league hockey team Florida Everblades, has now become a shelter to those displaced by Hurricane Ian. On Saturday, busloads of people arrived from the devastated areas of Fort Myers Beach and Sanibel Island.”

• NPR News: After Ian demolished their home, a Florida couple wonder where to go. “Jim Helton has been in Florida more than 40 years. He built a successful business on Captiva, another nearby island devastated by the storm. He’s 84, long since retired and now is not sure what to do next. Like the house, all the couple’s plans were scrambled and destroyed by the hurricane.”

• NPR News: Florida nursing homes evacuated 1000s before Ian hit. Some weathered the storm. “More than 40 nursing homes made the same choice and evacuated around 3,400 residents before the storm set in, according to the Florida Health Care Association, a trade organization. Most are located in the southwestern part of the state, and transferred residents to affiliated facilities outside the storm’s path. At least another 115 assisted living facilities also evacuated residents. Others chose to ride it out.”

• WUFT News: Ocala woman suffers home damage after Hurricane Ian. “Wanda Follins was doing her daily morning devotional in bed when she heard the cracking. She rolled out of bed to put her slippers on and see what the sound was when suddenly, she said it sounded like a bomb had gone off in the house.”

• WUFT News: Residents of Hills of Santa Fe breathe a sigh of relief in the wake of Hurricane Ian. “When Hurricane Ian was originally projected to make landfall around the Tampa Bay area and rampage up the center of Florida near Gainesville, the residents of Hills of Santa Fe held their breath. In a community with a long history of severe flooding – one that is still recovering from its last major flood only a month prior – homeowners prepared for the worst.”

• News4Jax: Deluge from Ian waterlogs low-lying Putnam County communities. “Lt. Mike Wells, with the Sheriff’s Office, spent much of Friday on Dunns Creek checking in on homeowners who live along the creek. ‘This is a lot worse than normal. It does get pretty bad during a good high tide or even a good storm, but this is a little more than what they’re used to.'”

• News Service of Florida: The first insurance claims from Hurricane Ian show $474M in losses so far in Florida. “Insurers were required to begin submitting claims data Friday and will continue submitting the information each day through Oct. 7. The first batch included 62,047 claims, with estimated losses totaling $473.828 million.”

• Politico: Live near water? Get flood insurance, FEMA admin says after Ian. “The storm has prompted questions about how people should best protect themselves and their property in disasters, whether through building codes, evacuations or insurance.”

• New York Times ($): Facing a Dire Storm Forecast in Florida, Officials Delayed Evacuation. “Lee County, which includes the hard-hit seaside community of Fort Myers Beach, as well as the towns of Fort Myers, Sanibel and Cape Coral, did not issue a mandatory evacuation order for the areas likely to be hardest hit until Tuesday morning, a day after several neighboring counties had ordered their most vulnerable residents to flee.”

• Florida Politics: ‘You loot, we shoot’: Gov. DeSantis stresses law and order in Ian-ravaged communities. “Later in St. Augustine, DeSantis said he told Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie that the state could provide support in the event of people bringing boats to try to ‘ransack’ homes on islands that have been isolated from the mainland.”

• Gainesville Sun ($): Hurricane Ian: Historic Florida newspaper front pages tell story of devastation, impact. Fifty-nine different Florida newspaper front pages tell the story of the storm’s destruction.

• WUFT News: Alachua County animal shelters weather Hurricane Ian, find ‘silver linings.’ “As soon as the staff members at North Central Florida Humane Society knew a hurricane could hit Gainesville, they dropped everything to dedicate all their time to emptying their animal shelter, Margot DeConna said.”

• WFTS-Tampa Bay: Residents go fishing in their yards as Peace River leaves neighborhoods underwater. “People who live near the Peace River in Polk County are still waiting for flood waters to recede. The river has made its way to the doorsteps of homes in a Bartow neighborhood, but one family is making the best out of a bad situation.”


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A story not about Ian

• WUFT News: Alachua County makes history with approval of equitable criminal sentencing technology. “Florida’s Eighth Judicial Circuit will become Florida’s first judicial circuit to integrate equitable sentencing software as an official part of its case management system and plea-bargaining process. Roughly 95% of cases are settled in plea negotiations. “

From NPR News

• Health: How to time your flu shot for best protection

• Health: The Ice Bucket Challenge wasn’t just for social media. It helped fund a new ALS drug

• Business: Fox’s Jeanine Pirro is back in the hot seat in $1.6 billion election defamation case

• World: Brazil’s presidential election heads to a runoff between Lula and Bolsonaro

• Education: A win 16 years in the making for a group of student loan borrowers

Ethan Magoc curated today’s edition of The Point.

About WUFT News

Contact WUFT News by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news @wuft.org

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