On Thursday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said that the state was hit with a “500-year flood event” the day after the hurricane made landfall in southwest Florida.
“We've never seen a flood event like this,” the governor said during a press briefing in Tallahassee, the state’s capitol. “We've never seen a storm surge of this magnitude.”
While Hurricane Ian struck the southwest of Florida the most severely, DeSantis noted that some the counties of central Florida are “looking at potential major flooding.”
“The amount of water that’s been rising and will likely continue to rise today even as the storm is passing is basically a 500-year flood event,” DeSantis stated..
He also emphasized the flood of resources that the state has received in the last 24 hours and praised Florida residents for their resilience.
“The response here and the way people have reacted has been very impressive,” DeSantis stated.
Florida first lady Casey DeSantis said the state was able to raise $2 million in just 24 hours to assist the victims of the storm.
Hurricane Ian struck Florida on Wednesday as a powerful category-four storm with sustained winds of 155 miles an hour, reported the Hill.
Ian was later downgraded to a tropical storm, however officials in Florida have warned that the storm's rain and wind remain hazardous.
DeSantis also said he had a meeting with President Biden, who declared it to be a major disaster in nine counties in Florida. DeSantis is said to be planning to ask Biden to extend the emergency declaration to other counties in order to allow Florida residents to receive aid the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“This storm is having broad impacts across the state and some of the flooding you’re going to see in areas hundreds of miles from where this made landfall are going to set records, and that’s going to obviously be things that will need to be responded to,” DeSantis declared at the press conference.
The hurricane left nearly 2.5 million Floridians without power and caused structural damage to a number of crucial pieces of infrastructure such as Sanibel Causeway, which connects the Sanibel Islands to the mainland.