Terrifying footage of an occupied home being washed away in Florida by Hurricane Ian has been captured by storm chaser Max Olson.
The 2.5-minute video was captured by Olson’s storm probe in Fort Myers. It shows how quickly the water level rose during the storm surge and how easily the violent waves swept entire buildings away. In the midst of the surge, the residential street looks more like a wild ocean than a habitable city.
Olson reports that at 11:15am, when the timelapse begins, the whole area is inundated with over 6 inches of water. By 12:30pm, though, the water level is above the fence line and debris has begun floating by. An hour later, at 1:30, large structures start getting swept away in the area. The pink house is destroyed at around 2:10pm. By 3:50pm, the water is receding, and it was completely gone by 7pm, leaving piles of rubble where many buildings once stood.
A family was reportedly in the house at the time of the surge and miraculously survived with just minor injuries. Olson says he has gotten in touch with the family, who have set up a GoFundMe page to get back on their feet after losing everything to the storm.
“We have confirmed via family that the people who were staying in this house at the time of the storm somehow were able to make it out alive even after floating away,” Olson writes on YouTube.
“[M]y brother Tod, his girlfriend Annette, and two dogs Jaxon and Roxie, were still inside their house when it started going down during Hurricane Ian,” writes Jon Pistone on the crowdfunding campaign. “Their house started filling up with water and started floating away. They had to tie themselves together, break out a window and jump out when the water started coming in, they held on to a tree, but my brother couldn’t hold on any longer.
“[H]is girlfriend and the two dogs held on to that tree for over 2 hours, but my brother got swept away, he was able to hold on to another house and break the window to get in. His girlfriend finally had to let go and they all somehow managed to survive WITH the two dogs.
“Unfortunately they lost everything they have, my brother and his girlfriend got pretty banged up and needed some stitches and medical help.”
Olson’s eye-opening video has so far racked up 1.5 million views, it comes as the death toll from the Category 4 hurricane has risen to nearly 100 with rescue personnel continuing to search for survivors.
However, officials in the Sunshine State are coming under fire as critics allege that some hard-hit areas did not receive enough advance warning to evacuate.
President Joe Biden and the first lady are expected to travel to Florida on Wednesday to survey the damage and meet officials and residents. The President visited Puerto Rico on Monday where he promised $60 million in aid to help the U.S. territory.
“We’re going to make sure you get every single dollar promised,” he said in the municipality of Ponce, parts of which were still without power.
As the death toll continues to climb, search and rescue efforts in hard-hit coastal areas are still ongoing. There have been numerous dramatic rescues and narrow escapes of seniors who were stranded as storm surges flooded their neighborhoods.
Ian ranks among the continental United States’ top 30 deadliest storms. It’s also the 11th storm in the past 22 years to claim more than 50 lives on the mainland.
With warmer ocean temperatures driving increasing rainfall and other climate-related changes forecast to occur, researchers predict bigger and even deadlier disasters.
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