One week later, rescue crews still finding survivors

Hurricane Ian

(NewsNation) — One week after Hurricane Ian tore apart Southwest Florida, emergency crews say some people are still trapped inside their homes.

“We are still in the search and rescue operation,” Ignatius Carroll of the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue told NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Wednesday. “We are finding people had their first and second floors washed away and they were unable to get out,” he continued.

Because of looting, police checkpoints are set up at access points to the hardest hit areas. One Fort Myers neighborhood hired private security after a van, guns and other valuables were looted.

“We paid for our own security to be here,” Jeannie Caldwell, a local, told “Rush Hour” on Wednesday. “It’s sad. But you know, the fire department and all the teams are doing all they can. They are overwhelmed.

Many of the residents here tell NewsNation they’ re armed.

“Hopefully, we don’t need them. You never know. There have been reports of people getting shot at in gas lines,” Brett Caldwell said.

Work crews hired to clean up are now also on looter patrol.

“We have had to chase three people out — one person who threatened us, we had to call the cops on,” Brett said. “Two people last night — a total of maybe eight people, I guess. It is so heartless. … Everyone lost everything. You would think people would have a little respect, but I guess not,” he continued.

President Joe Biden was able to take some of the damage in up close, as he touched down on the ground in Fort Myers with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday, touring hurricane devastation in the areas hardest hit.

“It’s going to take a lot of time. Not weeks or months (but) years for everything to get squared away in the state of Florida to fully recover and rebuild,” Biden said.

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