Hurricane Ian devastates the Southwest Coast of Florida

Aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers Beach.
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Tropical storm Ian, formed in the Caribbean islands on Sept. 23.

On Sept. 26, Florida A&M University (FAMU) and Florida State University (FSU) announced
the closure of each university in preparation for Hurricane Ian. Later that day, Ian strengthened
to a category 1 hurricane.

Eventually, Ian strengthened to a category 4, with wind speeds just short of being labeled a
Category 5. The storm made landfall in southwest coastal Florida on Sept 28. Residents on the
coast were urged to evacuate.

Ian left areas of Florida devastated, with thousands of homes destroyed, leaving many survivors
homeless. Close to 400,000 Florida residents have been left without power. According to CNN,
Ian has claimed the life of at least 109 people, with 105 of them being in Florida.

Fort Myers Beach is amongst one of the areas hit the hardest by the hurricane. Dariah Banks, a
psychology major at FAMU, said her family has been severely impacted by Ian.

“I spoke with my cousin who is going through a hard time,” Banks said. “She told me that there
is still no power, limited food and gas sources. The part of our conversation that touched me
most is her saying that people are still being rescued by helicopters and being taken to shelters.”

Hurricane Ian left residents frantically searching for necessities such as food and water.

Malcolm Harvey, a senior graphic design student said he and his family had to relocate.

“Considering the fact that many zones were under mandatory evacuation in Hillsborough and
Pinellas counties, me and my family took extra precaution and moved further inland to
Lakeland,” Harvey said.

Ian has since lost strength but remained a Category 1 hurricane when it made landfall on the
Carolinas Coast. In Florida, CNN also reported that rescue teams are going door-to-door in Fort
Myers in an attempt to help residents.

Housing company, AIRBNB, is offering free or discounted housing as a relief for those affected
by Hurricane Ian. Also, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will be providing more
than $70 million for relief efforts in Florida.