SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. (WFLA) — The U.S. Coast Guard released a video showing one of hundreds of rescues in Lee and Charlotte Counties on Thursday in the wake of Hurricane Ian – a couple and their three cats on Sanibel Island.
The barrier islands were decimated by the storm. Sanibel City Manager Dana Souza told the TODAY show the damage to the 6,300-person town is “catastrophic” and “biblical”.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Souza said. “Residents who have lived on Sanibel for many, many years, just can’t even understand the damage that we’ve experienced.”
The island and its neighbor, Captiva Island, were also cut off from the mainland when the only road into the island was severed in several places by the storm. Souza told TODAY that they are relying on ferries and volunteers with boats to get people and supplies to and from the island.
In the video posted by the Coast Guard, the man filming tells the couple that there are thousands awaiting rescue. In a press conference on Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said over 700 people had been rescued in the area so far.