TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — Gov. Ron DeSantis discussed the state’s response to Hurricane Ian in a press conference on Thursday.

The storm made landfall in southwest Florida on Wednesday afternoon, just shy of Category 5 intensity, bringing catastrophic damage to the the region. Two million Floridians are still without power.

Gov. DeSantis said the damage to the power grid in Lee and Charlotte counties is so extensive that the infrastructure will have to be completely rebuilt, which could take weeks if not months. Until then, DeSantis said those hardest-hit areas “are basically off the grid”.

This comes amid hundreds of reports of people trapped inside their homes with floodwaters rising.

Gov. DeSantis said the Florida National Guard is sending helicopter search and rescue crews to barrier islands, like Sanibel and Captiva near Fort Myers. Part of the causeway connecting the islands to the mainland was reportedly washed away overnight.

The state has activated 100 engineers to inspect bridges, according to DeSantis, who named the Sanibel Causeway and Matlacha Bridge in Cape Coral as examples of seriously damaged bridges.

Ian – now a tropical storm – took aim at central and northeast Florida on Thursday. DeSantis stressed the possibility of severe flooding in Orange County and up the St. John’s River to Jacksonville, calling it a “500 year flood event”.