Hurricane Ian Completes Its Destructive Mission

Emma Schifferl, Editor-in-Chief

Hurricanes are known for the massive amount of destruction that they cause once they make landfall. The storms take what they want, do what they want, and give nothing back but chaos and terror. These storms aren’t strangers to the people who live near the Gulf of Mexico, as storms hit this region of the globe a few times a year. 

In the United States, Southern states have had to adapt rather quickly to these storms. In states such as Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and both Carolinas, damage prevention is a familiar concern. In the days leading up to September 28, the state of Florida began to prepare for Hurricane Ian. Ian was supposed to make landfall with Category 4 winds (speeds reaching up to 155 miles per hour). There was thunder, lightning, strong winds, and a set path of absolute destruction. After hitting Florida, Ian was downgraded to a Category 1 as it hit South Carolina.

After the hurricane hit the United States, it left utter destruction in its wake. Puerto Rico, an island often trying to recover from hurricanes, was once again hit by a hurricane. Sanibel Island, a small island off the South coast of Florida, took the brunt of Hurricane Ian. The highway that connects the island to the mainland was destroyed, leaving an impassable gap between the mainland and the island. Cities such as Cape Coral, Fort Myers, Tampa, and Clearwater were hit hard by the storm, causing massive flooding, loss of power, collapsing buildings, and destruction of infrastructure. Reports say that the damage from Ian may cost $67 billion dollars. According to NESDIS, hurricane Ian is one of the top five hurricanes ever recorded to hit the United States.

Unfortunately, Ian not only obliterated property, it also destroyed lives and took them as well. At least 119 people died in the hurricane, many of them older people who couldn’t escape before or during the storms. Florida’s climate attracts a large community of older people, so many of the towns affected consisted largely of seniors, who had retired to Florida. Buildings were swept away whole, leaving nothing but their foundations. Hurricane Ian made no compromises. It simply had one mission: destroy as much as possible in the time that it had. Unfortunately, it seems as if Ian accomplished its goals.