Hurricane Ian made made landfall Wednesday afternoon in Southwest Florida as one of the most powerful Category 4 hurricanes to ever hit the state, with sustained wind speeds reaching up to 155 mph.
“@WaffleHouse is one of the first restaurants in Charlotte County to reopen and provide hot meals as we work together to serve Floridians after #HurricaneIan,” DeSantis wrote on Twitter. “Thank you for providing meals to the linemen working to restore power.”
DeSantis served the first responders, emergency response staff, and volunteers at a Waffle House in Punta Gorda.
— DeSantis War Room 🐊 #FloridaStrong (@DeSantisWarRoom) October 1, 2022
DeSantis issued updates on his administration’s hurricane recovery efforts after surveying numerous devastated areas and meeting with officials in the impacted communities.
The governor’s office said that there are 42,000 lineman responding to the more than 1.2 million power outages caused by the catastrophic damage from Hurricane Ian. The lineman have already restored power to more than 1.4 million Floridians, the governor’s office added.
As of early Saturday morning, over 1,000 members of search and rescue teams made more than 1,100 rescues. Helicopters had been used for nearly 200 of the rescue responses and the Florida National Guard is also involved in efforts to conduct search and rescue operations with individual counties.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has received a major boost in support from the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC), gaining 1,800 personnel from more than two dozen states that have arrived in the state to assist in recovery efforts.
“FDEM is working with feeding partners to open kitchens for impacted and displaced residents,” DeSantis’ office said. “More than 63,000 hot meals were served on-scene at food banks in Alachua, Brevard, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Flagler, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Orange, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole and Union counties yesterday, Friday, September 30. More than 100,000 hot meals will be served today, October 1.”
“FDEM has six active fuel depots and is staging an additional four fuel depots today throughout Central and Southwest Florida to ensure first responders have the fuel they need to conduct search and rescue operations,” the statement added. “More than 1.2 million gallons of fuels has been mobilized.”