Destruction from Hurricane Ian leaves many homeless; Florida, Carolina’s living in inches of water


The flooded streets of Tori Hanna’s apartment complex hours after Ian hit. Many have their homes filled with water and some have no home at all. PHOTO CREDIT: Tori Hanna

Meghan Kalck, SSC Editor/Studio Manager

     Hurricane Ian hit landfall in the United States starting early on September 28, causing mass flooding and destruction in the Florida area.

     Many residents in Florida had evacuated in order to keep away from all the destruction that Ian had caused including massive floods and disfigurement to homes. The storm had hit the land in the country of Cuba at 4:30 am on Tuesday “killing at least two people and plunging the entire island of 11 million people into darkness,” according to The Washington Post.

     Nearly all of Florida has felt the impact of the heavy winds of Ian, as the reported 155 mph had caused President Joe Biden to declare a “major disaster,” according to The Orlando Sentinel.

     On Thursday, September 29, Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm but was “still dumping record amounts of rain,” according to The Orlando Sentinel. Power outages across the state were “intense.”

     “Historic Hurricane Ian has already killed ‘hundreds’ of people in Florida, a sheriff in the hardest-hit region revealed early Thursday,” according to The death toll is expected to rise as they clean up debris after the storm.

     North Harford alumna Tori Hanna moved down to Florida during June of this year and lives in an apartment in Winter Park, right outside of Orlando.

     Where she is, there is “debris all over the road,” and it has also flooded the roads of the complex. The winds were strong and the rain was heavy, but she didn’t evacuate her complex because “they didn’t call for it in [her] area,” she says.

     Hanna felt pretty safe and secure in her apartment because by the time Ian had reached her area, it had been downgraded to a category one hurricane. “If [she] wanted to evacuate, [she] would have gone to stay with [her] grandparents in Deland.”

     Once Hanna had started seeing stories on the news about Ian, she began to worry. She was also scared when she went to check outside and she could, “barely stand up straight.”

     The night of Wednesday, September 28 at approximately 3 a.m., Hanna’s fire alarm was going off and she went to wake up her roommate. “[She] grabbed her cat and went outside where there were other confused residents,” Hanna says. 

     There ended up being no fire at her complex and the alarm continued going off in her complex, “until 6 a.m.”

     Fort Myers, Florida is one of the many areas that suffered the most damage from Ian. “Debris littered the beaches, boats washed ashore and some buildings vanished completely,” according to The New York Times.

     Many homes and buildings have been gutted and filled with water and some have been swept away completely.

     After hitting Florida, Ian moved up north to the Carolinas, causing mass flooding. Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm on Friday, September 30, hours after hitting South Carolina as a category 1 hurricane.

     “The hurricane center said Ian made landfall near Georgetown, South Carolina, just after 2 p.m. Friday, with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph,” according to Ian had ripped apart piers and flooded streets as it moved across the state. The heaviest rainfall was over the Charleston area.

     The death toll is still rising in Florida and the Carolinas and there are many still without power and without homes. There are many ways to help the victims of Ian such as donating to and also to to help those who have lost their homes and loved ones.