“We pre-positioned the largest amount of search-and-rescue assets that I think we’ve ever put in place before,” FEMA chief Deanne Criswell told FOX News Sunday.
At least 87 people have died in relation to the hurricane, which includes 83 in Florida, according to NBC News‘ tally on Sunday (October 2). At least 1,100 rescues were reported to have been made in Florida since Hurricane Ian made its way through the state last week, Governor Ron DeSantis told reporters on Sunday.
“There’s been a great outpouring of support and I’ve seen a lot of resilience in this community of people that want to pick themselves up and they want to get their communities back on their feet,” DeSantis said via NBC News. “We’ll be here and we’ll be helping every step of the way.”
Recovery efforts are ongoing in Florida and the Carolinas after the hurricane left a path of destruction throughout the week.
PowerOutage.us reports 603,940 Florida residents and 9,469 Virginia residents were still without power as of Sunday morning.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper told NBC’s Chuck Todd that at least 33,000 residents in his state were without power during an appearance on Meet the Press Sunday morning, with the total number of outages peaking at 400,000 on Friday, though that number has since dropped to less than 1,000.
President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in Florida after Ian made landfall on Wednesday afternoon and ordered federal aid to help in state and local recovery efforts in areas directly affected, the White House confirmed in a statement obtained by NBC News.
Ian made landfall on Wednesday (September 28) near Cayo Costa as a Category 4 hurricane with winds reaching up to 150 MPH, making it one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded in Florida, according to NBC News forecasters.
Ian was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday (September 29) before strengthening back into a hurricane prior to making landfall in South Carolina on Friday (September 30).