MIAMI: The remnants of Hurricane Ian drifted through Virginia early on Sunday, while storm-ravaged residents in Florida and the Carolinas faced a disaster recovery expected to cost tens of billions of dollars.
The storm’s toll on human life also was expected to rise as floodwaters receded and search teams pushed farther into areas initially cut off from the outside world, seeking stranded survivors and the remains of anyone who may have perished.
At least 50 storm-related deaths have been confirmed since Ian crashed ashore Florida’s Gulf Coast with catastrophic force on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane, packing maximum sustained winds of 150 miles per hour (240 km per hour).
Florida accounted for the bulk of fatalities, with 35 tallied by the sheriff’s office in coastal Lee County, which bore the brunt of the storm when it made landfall, and 11 other deaths reported by state officials in four neighboring counties.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will see the devastation in Florida firsthand on Wednesday, the White House said in a statement late Saturday. The Bidens will visit Puerto Rico on Monday, where hundreds of thousands of people were still without power two weeks after Hurricane Fiona hit the island.