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Response

These are stories documenting how communities and emergency officials respond to potentially disastrous situations, both natural and human-made.

In Fort Myers Beach after Hurricane Ian, just as in countless other disasters, they go about their work methodically. Street by street, house to house, picking through rubble, and knocking on doors looking for survivors.
Officials have linked about 100 deaths across 10 Florida counties to Hurricane Ian, including 52 in Lee County, where storm surges reached 10 feet high and destroyed bridges that connect some islands to the mainland.
Kevin Guthrie, Florida’s emergency management director, explained during a morning press briefing in Tallahassee that the state is trying to verify whether 20 of the deaths were as a result of the storm, or unrelated causes.
A recent survey of emergency personnel indicates that violence is increasing and taking a physical and emotional toll on professionals and thus compromising the care that patients are getting.
A Storm Surge Warning remained in effect Thursday, Sept. 29, for parts of the coast including Savannah, Tybee and Ossabaw islands, according to the National Weather Service office in Charleston.
Gov. DeSantis said several people on the barrier islands of Lee and Charlotte counties were rescued by helicopter early Thursday morning. The area experienced “massive inundation.”
As shelters opened across Central Florida, officials warned that “historic flooding” could be in store for the region’s low-lying and flood-prone areas, with Hurricane Ian expected to bring torrential downpours through the region.
The storm surge predictions soared overnight to 12 to 18 feet for Englewood to Bonita Bay, a forecast so high a new color was added to the National Hurricane Center’s peak storm surge prediction map.
If the track holds — and forecasts stress that it may still change — it could reduce the flooding threat to Tampa Bay but raise it for coastal communities to the south like Sarasota and Cape Coral.
The tropical storm is expected to arrive in the Charlotte region “Friday into Saturday,” the National Weather Service. That also goes for the North Carolina foothills, parts of the North and South Carolina mountains and Upstate South Carolina.