First responders in the city of Naples were having trouble responding to calls as unprecedented storm surge swamped entire streets, miles south of where Hurricane Ian made landfall on Wednesday.
According to the National Hurricane Center, Ian made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane at Cayo Costa and pounded the peninsula with disastrous storm surge, winds, and flooding.
Naples didn’t need a direct blow to experience Ian’s rage. Long-time inhabitants claimed that it was unlike any storm they had ever seen.
Robert Snyder, a local, described the current situation as “really wild and insane.” I didn’t anticipate the situation here to be this horrible.
The storm surge from this hurricane was the biggest to ever hit Naples, according to the mayor, who has lived in the city for 33 years.
Mayor Teresa Heitmann stated, “It started off as worrying, and then it turned tragic.”
Heitmann said that at least eight tourists and even kayakers who were exploring the flooded streets needed to be saved.
First responders were at one time prevented from responding to 157 calls. It was difficult to reach them due to the storm’s record-breaking storm surge.
A strict curfew was put in place by authorities on Wednesday night.
The reason for the curfew, according to Heitmann, is because people want to take part in the situation and learn what is happening, which is the very worst thing you can do. “We need to know what we’re up against as soon as that water goes down so we can clear the roads and allow the folks to return when it’s safe,” someone said.
What this Category 4 hurricane left behind is still unknown as Ian makes his way north Wednesday night.
According to resident Brett Fisher, “After the storm blows through, it’s all the water, the powerlines, impediments in the road, getting out, and obtaining medical treatment.”
Collier County lost electricity for at least 40% of the time. County officials have begun to plow major thoroughfares leading to hospitals and shelters for the homeless.