Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called Ian "a 500-year flood event" and said people can expect the storm to continue to have impact across the state as it leaves record-setting flooding hundreds of miles away from where the hurricane made landfall on Wednesday.
“This storm is having broad impacts across the state, and some of the flooding you’re going to see in areas hundreds of miles from where this made landfall are going to set records,” he said at Florida's emergency operations center in Tallahassee.
“The impacts of this storm are historic, and the damage that was done has been historic and this is just off initial assessments,” DeSantis added. “We’ve never seen storm surge of this magnitude. This is going to require years of effort to rebuild and to come back.”
President Biden has approved a “major disaster declaration for nine counties,” DeSantis said. This includes: Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, and Sarasota. It will allow individuals to seek FEMA assistance.
“For those in need of help who qualify, you go to FEMA.gov or you can call 1-800-621-3262,” DeSantis said. “Make sure you take a picture of the waterline in your home because if you can show that, we’re able to get assistance to you faster.”
The Florida governor also urged caution for residents, saying “this is still a hazardous situation.”
“This thing is not done creating damage,” he added.