Rescue and cleanup efforts continue in Lee County following destruction of Hurricane Ian

Four days after Hurricane Ian made landfall, clean-up efforts from the catastrophic storm continues in Lee County.

Florida Task Force Two, made up of first responders from Miami, is still looking for survivors who may be alive, trapped below the rubble on Fort Myers Beach, but even they know time is running out.

“We know in the first 48 hours that is your greatest opportunity to save a life,” said Miami Fire Chief Joseph Zahralban.

Some residents are now living in a parking lot after losing everything, while others are still waiting to hear from friends.

“No telling where she is,” resident Howard Roux said of his friend Diane Dyke, who he has not heard from since the storm hit. “Whether she got swept up by the current or managed stay in the house somewhere, somehow.”

A two story bait and tackle shop used to be one of many lining the road to Fort Myers Beach, but after the powerful storm surge caused by Ian, the second story is now gone and the bottom floor is completely washed out.

Another building used to house a kayak rental business that actually used to sit on the other side of the street, but it was carried right across the road by the wind and rising water.

Even a large charter boat that was used for fishing was no match for the raging water. The surge picked it up, before dropping it right on top of an SUV.

Some people have made the drive from the east coast of Florida just to help out.

“Many people from Miami area in my chat groups responded and within a few hours we had truckloads of all goods,” said Yedidim volunteer Eran Hazan.

President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration, freeing up more federal resources to help with the recovery.

“We’re just beginning to see the scale of that destruction,” Biden said. “It is likely to rank among the worst in the nation’s history.”

Local 10 News’ Christian De La Rosa 11 p.m. report:

Florida Task Force Two, made up of first responders from Miami, is still looking for survivors who may be alive, trapped below the rubble on Fort Myers Beach, but even they know time is running out.

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