TO UPDATE: Authorities have now increased the death toll from Hurricane Ian to more than 77, with an estimated 1,100 people rescued from the floods. Rescue efforts are ongoing, with authorities warning the death toll could rise as floodwaters recede into places littered with shattered homes.
EARLIER: Florida continued the grim task of pulling out of Hurricane Ian today as authorities surveyed the total damage and fatalities from the devastating storm.
Authorities said Saturday morning that they expect the death count to exceed 50 people.
Of the 31 confirmed dead people, 27 were from Florida. Four people have died in North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper said Saturday. Ian headed north Saturday through central North Carolina, now considered a tropical cyclone. It was heading toward Virginia after reaching the coast of South Carolina.
Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno which oversees severely damaged Fort Myers, said the number of confirmed deaths has reached 35 in his jurisdiction alone. Marceno said more than 600 stranded survivors were rescued from their homes so far.
In other parts of the state, things were beginning to return to normal.
After being closed for three days due to Hurricane Ian, the Universal Orlando Resort theme parks returned to normal operations today. Their “Halloween Horror Nights” will be open tonight.
Disney reopened its Walt Disney World theme park and Disney Springs shopping area in Orlando, Florida, on Friday in a “phased approach.” As of today, all four Walt Disney World theme parks are now open.
Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon water park will reopen on Sunday, October 2. Winter Summerland Miniature Golf and Fairways Miniature Golf will be temporarily closed at this time. Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park is currently closed for the season.
The National Football League has scrapped its contingency plans to shift Sunday night’s game between the Kansas City Chiefs Y Tampa Bay Buccaneers to minnesota The game will continue to be held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa as originally scheduled.