“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 added. When Hurricane Ian hit the state on Wednesday, winds reached 150 miles per hour and were accompanied by “life-threatening storm surge,” NBC News reported. As of Thursday morning, 2.5 million people in Florida were without power, NBC reported. But as search and rescue begins, Marceno assured residents that his department is ready 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!” the Lee County Sheriff’s Office posted on Facebook. The sheriff’s office also posted a phone number for people to call for welfare checks and said to call 911 only for emergencies. “We know it can be difficult to contact family and loved ones following Hurricane Ian’s landfall in Southwest Florida. Many residents are currently without power and unable to communicate. As long as the area is accessible, the Lee County Sheriff’s Office can dispatch deputies to check on residents and ensure they are safe,” the sheriff’s office posted on Facebook. “To request a wellbeing check, call the Lee County Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at 239-477-1000.” Authorities also warned residents that traffic lights are out, debris is on the roads and power lines are down, The News-Press reported. Meanwhile, President Joe Biden declared that “a major disaster exists” in Florida and has ordered federal aid to assist in the areas affected, the White House reported. Biden “ordered Federal aid to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Ian beginning on September 23, 2022, and continuing,” the briefing outlined. “The president’s action makes Federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota,” the White House briefing added. This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.
WATCH: Florida Gov. DeSantis on Lee County Sheriff claiming that “hundreds” have died following Hurricane Ianpic.twitter.com/raPTIAcKO3— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 29, 2022