Floridians are facing devastating scenes after, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the U.S., swept across the state.
The storm, which made landfall in southwest Florida as a powerful Category 4 hurricane Wednesday, flooded numerous buildings and streets, ripped off roofs, left people trapped in their homes and knocked out power to millions of residents. Ian downgraded to a tropical storm as it moved across Florida, but strengthened into a hurricane again as it approached the Carolinas Friday.
Authorities were still assessing the situation in Florida, but the following photos offer a glimpse of the damage.
New Smyrna Beach
Residents in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, northeast of Orlando, faced flooded homes and streets after Ian passed through as a tropical storm.
A city south of Orlando and adjacent to a lake, Kissimmee, Florida, saw significant flooding during and after Tropical Storm Ian.
One of the hardest-hit cities was Fort Myers, which is just north of where Ian made landfall. Photos show buildings and boats damaged by the hurricane’s massive storm surge and strong winds, as well as inundated roads and buildings.
Punta Gorda, a small city and county seat of Charlotte County, woke up Thursday to heavy flooding, collapsed buildings and its streets covered by debris and downed trees.
Bartow, the county seat of Polk County, faced high winds and heavy rain that knocked down trees, power lines and businesses signs.
The hurricane also destroyed a major chunk of the, which connects Sanibel Island to the Florida mainland, cutting off access to the barrier island where about 6,400 people normally live.
Flooding rains from Tropical Storm Ian slammed central Florida on Thursday. In Orlando, first responders helped evacuate a nursing home as floodwaters rose.