SARASOTA, Fla. - SKYFOX chopper video flew over portions of Florida Thursday afternoon surveying the damage and devastation left behind after Hurricane Ian pummeled the area with heavy rain, storm surge, winds and catastrophic flooding.
The powerful storm made landfall shortly after 3 p.m. on the southwestern coast of Florida, near Cayo Costa, as a Category 4 storm on Wednesday. At that time, maximum sustained winds were reported at 150 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
SKYFOX flew over Sarasota, Florida showing the havoc Ian wreaked on the southwest community, flooding the streets, destroying homes and knocking down trees.
Authorities said more than 500 people have been rescued in Charlotte and Lee counties in southwest Florid since beginning rescue operations Thursday morning., according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
There has been at least one confirmed death in Florida due to Ian — although authorities feared the toll could be far higher as rescue efforts continue.
Ian downgraded to a tropical storm early Thursday, but is expected to re-strengthen and become a category 1 hurricane as it makes its way for South Carolina.