(NewsNation) — Several heartbroken families are still engaged in a desperate search for loved ones who disappeared during Ian’s destruction.
Nicholas Kimps took to social media to search for his dad, Robin Kimps, who he hadn’t heard from since Wednesday. Robin was on Pine Island, one of the hardest-hit areas when Ian came ashore.
On Friday, Nicholas received the news that his dad was located and is currently at a hospital.
“We utilized social media to really put our feelers out there, and strangers are the ones who located him and found him. I’m still in shock. I’m actually shaking, because it’s very surprising,” Nicholas said Friday night on NewsNation’s “Banfield.”
The Kimps are among the lucky ones. NewsNation’s Ashleigh Banfield also spoke with Genevra Prothero, who is currently looking for her aunt Diana Waltz, a Fort Myers. resident.
Waltz lived in a trailer half a mile from the beach in the hard-hit city. Prothero says Waltz was supposed to evacuate, but she may have stayed because of her cat. The last anyone has heard from Waltz was a Facebook video where she documents her fridge floating in water.
Prothero says she’s waiting to hear back from officials to see if anyone can try locating her aunt.
“It’s not safe to go over there, so we’re just hoping that we can get a hold of her. We’ve been calling hospitals and we just haven’t had any luck.”
If you, or a loved one, are searching for someone missing from Hurricane Ian, Florida’s Division of Emergency Management’s website can help.
As of Friday night, the death toll in Florida rose to 23 as officials confirmed multiple drowning deaths and several other fatalities while sorting through the aftermath of Ian, which pummeled the state Thursday. Authorities say they expect the death count to rise significantly in coming days.