Search and rescue operations continue a week after Hurricane Ian

Search and rescue operations are continuing a week after Hurricane Ian ravaged southwest Florida.

FORT MYERS, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis and President Joe Biden will both be making appearances in southwest Florida Wednesday to speak about the recovery efforts in place following Hurricane Ian.

As search and rescue operations intensify one week after Hurricane Ian roared ashore on the west coast of Florida, the search for supplies continues for those who survived the Category 4 storm.

“We have no water, and we’re here to take a shower,” storm survivor Tom Jacobs said. “We’ve been going to the community center to get water out of the pool so we can flush our toilets.”

Jacobs and his wife were two of several people to line up this week outside a Fort Myers fire station, where officials are providing free showers to those still in need.

“We have these tents here that we would usually use for hazmat calls, and we thought, let’s set these up so people can take a shower,” Fort Myers Fire Department Capt. Paul Dearmond said. “So we have tanker trucks coming in with water -- they hold about 6,000 gallons. This one’s been here for two days, and we have another one in route.”

Aside from clean water, hot meals have also been hard to find, leading to several area churches and non-profits stepping up to help.

“In the last two days, we’ve served over 40,000 meals, because here in southwest Florida, we’re still in a food and water crisis,” Pastor Matt Keller, of Next Level Church, said.

Keller and his team of volunteers have been working non-stop to fill that void, delivering hot meals to local hospitals, shelters and to first responders.


About the Authors:

Trent Kelly is an award-winning multimedia journalist who joined the Local 10 News team in June 2018. Trent is no stranger to Florida. Born in Tampa, he attended the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he graduated with honors from the UF College of Journalism and Communications.

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.