Thousands Of Floridians Cut Off After Major Bridge Is Damaged By Ian

A major causeway connecting two islands to mainland Florida was severely damaged during Hurricane Ian, cutting off access to thousands of Floridians who need help.

A huge section of the Sanibel Causeway, which bridges Sanibel and Captiva islands to the rest of the state, was destroyed by the Category 4 hurricane, according to The Tampa Bay Times. Parts of a ramp to the bridge and a roadway crossing the island onto the causeway were reportedly washed away by storm surges.

Reporters described the pavement being “folded up like an accordion, ripped to ribbons” as sand and debris litter the wreckage. Two cars tried crossing the bridge around 1:30 a.m. Thursday (September 29), including a group of young men trying to reach their friend, but they were forced to turn around, the newspaper reports.

NBC2 reporter Gage Goulding also posted photos of the 50-65 foot section sinking into the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, an estimated 6,400 people lives in the City of Sanibel as of April 2021.

Emergency response crews are working to assist stranded victims, people trapped inside homes, and those dealing with power outages and floodwaters. Over 2.5 million Floridians are without power after Hurricane Ian made landfall as a devastating Category 4 hurricane Wednesday afternoon (September 28).

Ian has since downgraded into a tropical storm. President Joe Biden has authorized federal funding to help those affected by the storm.

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