ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Hurricane Ian tore through southwest Florida on Wednesday leaving behind flooded neighborhoods and mass destruction.
The storm caused catastrophic storm surge, winds and flooding over the Florida peninsula as it made landfall, the National Hurricane Center said.
The center of Ian moved over Central Florida through Thursday before emerging over the Atlantic. It is now headed toward the South Carolina coast.
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We will have live updates throughout the day on Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022.
10:29 p.m. President Biden is scheduled to visit Florida on Wednesday, Oct. 5., following the deadly impacts of Hurricane Ian in the southwestern region of the state, the White House announced. He will be joined by First Lady Jill Biden.
The duo will also be making a trip to Puerto Rico on Monday, Oct. 3., after the region was impacted by Hurricane Fiona.
9 p.m. The Medical Examiners Commission confirmed that there are now 44 deaths in Florida relating to the impacts of Hurricane Ian, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced Saturday.
In the Tampa Bay region, there are three deaths reported in Sarasota County and one death in Manatee County, according to FDLE.
The highest amount of deaths confirmed was in Lee County as 30 people were reported to have lost their life due to the storm, authorities say. Cities that were heavily impacted by the hurricane within the county include Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Sanibel Island.
Naples, located in Collier County, was another city that received major structural damage to its buildings and homes. There were a total of three reported deaths in the county, FDLE said.
There were also reportedly five deaths in Volusia County, one in Lake County and one in Hendry County.
6:25 p.m. Tampa Electric said they have restored power to more than 80 percent of its customers impacted by Hurricane Ian as of 4 p.m. Saturday.
243,000 customers have reportedly got their power restored and TECO said they are still working to help 52,000 customers get their power back.
The electric company said the vast majority of customers should have power back on by Sunday night, but some portions in Polk and Hillsborough County that suffered more damage to the storm should expect their power restored by Monday night.
5:20 p.m. Manatee County said water service is back up and running for all county customers as of 12 p.m. Saturday. However, customers on an island or in mobile home parks who recently had their water service restored are still under a boil water advisory through Sunday.
"Although conditions are improving, residents and visitors are still being asked to limit showers, toilet flushes and laundry to reduce wastewater system impacts," Manatee County said in a news release.
4:41 p.m. Sonny's BBQ and Marion County Emergency will be out Saturday through Monday providing meals for first responders and community members in Wauchula and Hardee counties.
Sonny's BBQ said it will provide meals through Monday at Hardee High School near the baseball fields.
4:32 p.m. Duke Energy said it expects to have 90% of its outages restored by Sunday night.
Duke said more than 861,000 customers have been restored so far. Approximately 171,000 customers are still without power.
“Our crews are working tirelessly to restore power throughout our Florida territory,” said Melissa Seixas, Duke Energy Florida state president, in a press release. “We aim to have the vast majority of our customers restored by Sunday night. We know there are pockets of hard-hit areas that will require more extensive work. We are grateful for the patience of those without power and we will continue to do everything possible to restore service as quickly as possible.”
3:44 p.m. Recycling collections in Manatee County will be suspended until further notice. However, recycling collection sites will be available for residents at multiple locations in the county.
3:01 p.m. First Lady Casey DeSantis announced that $20 million has been raised to support communities impacted by Hurricane Ian. The money is being donated to the Florida Disaster Fund.
2:17 p.m. Storm debris pick-up in Dunedin began this weekend and will continue in the Highland Woods and Covered Bridge areas.
"Residents are reminded to use strong plastic bags or 32-gallon cans for grass clippings, leaves, small branches & shrubs. And stage larger tree branches within 10 feet from the curb," the city of Dunedin said.
1:45 p.m. SpaceX and Elon Musk have provided Starlink units in Lee County to help communities get online during restoration efforts, Gov. Ron DeSantis said during a news conference. Additionally, DeSantis expects 120 more large Starlink units to be delivered in Charlotte, Collier and other rural counties struggling to get connectivity.
1:18 p.m. The Orlando Health healthcare system has admitted nearly 30 patients from Lee Health in Lee County. Several newborns have also been admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit at Orlando Health Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies.
1 p.m. Residents in eastern Manatee County are being asked not to drink water until it undergoes testing. Until then, bottled water is suggested.
12:55 p.m. Cape Coral points of distribution have opened and will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Cape Coral Sports Complex and Cape Coral Leonard Street.
12:54 p.m. There are several significant road closures impacting travel through and within Manatee County, county leaders said.
11:41 a.m. Sarasota Police Department's Emergency Response Team has been assisting North Port Police Department with rescues and providing relief to the community. The department delivered water, MREs and a helping hand in any place they can help.
11:38 a.m. Hillsborough County extended the county's local state of emergency order through Friday, Oct. 7.
11:29 a.m. The boil water notice has been rescinded for the island of Venice, the city announced. Residents can use the water for consumption now.
11:01 a.m. Residents in Hillsborough County residents impacted by Hurricane Ian are eligible for individual disaster assistance through FEMA, the county announced. Those with access to the Internet are encouraged to apply online.
10:31 a.m. Loose debris in the city of Sarasota will be picked up by the cit's debris hauler "in the near future," the city said in a news release. For now, residents can pile branches and other storm debris at their curb closest to the street.
10:54 a.m. Multiple locations in Manatee County have available resources to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian.
- Myakka Community Center - tarps and water
- First Church of the Nazarene in Bradenton - open to community members displaced from their homes. There is room for up to 100 people. Bring your own bedding.
- Manatee Mega pantry is distributing through Feeding Tampa Bay from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the DeSoto Square Mall in Bradenton
10:53 a.m. Gov. Ron DeSantis will hold a news conference at 1:45 p.m. at a flea market in Fort Myers.
10:12 a.m. Tampa Electric is continuously working to restore power to all accounts impacted by Hurricane Ian. As of Saturday morning, 77% of customers had power restored. TECO is working to restore power to about 67,000 more residences.
8:31 a.m. A closure overnight on I-75 at Sumter Boulevard in Sarasota County due to flooding waters of the Myakka River caused major traffic that held drivers up for several hours. At this time, the Florida Department of Transportation has been able to open more parts of I-75 and it now only closed southbound at Exit 193 (Jacaranda Boulevard) and northbound at Exit 179 (North Port / Toledo Blade Boulevard).
9 a.m. Florida Department of Transportation reports 1,265,821 power outages across the state of Florida.
7:34 a.m. The Hidden River/Myakka Valley neighborhood in Sarasota County received an alert regarding the potential of flooding from a compromised levee, the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office said. At this time residents in east Sarasota county, immediately south of Myakka Road and west of the Myakka River are encouraged to consider evacuating.
There is no threat to other areas in Sarasota County such as Venice or North Port.
Past updates from Friday, Sept. 30.
10:56 p.m. Orlando Health's healthcare system is admitting nearly 30 patients from Lee Health in Lee County. Around half of the patients being transferred to Orlando Health facilities, including Bayfront Health St. Petersburg, require ICU-level care.
9:08 p.m. The Florida Department of Transportation announced Friday night that a section of Interstate 75 is closed because of rising river water.
The Myakka River under I-75 has risen and impacted the interstate, no longer making it safe for drivers, FDOT explains. Because of this, both directions of I-73 are closed from mile marker 179 to mile marker 191.
8:54 a.m. The city of Tampa sent first responders to North Port to assist the community hit by flooding and power outages. They will assist with search and rescue efforts, debris removal and food distribution.
8:04 p.m. First Lady Casey DeSantis announced the first $1 million distributed through Florida Disaster Fund.