Headline RoundupOctober 4th, 2022

Hurricane Ian Death Toll Hits 100 Amid Criticism of Florida's Evacuation Plans

Summary from the AllSides News Team

As the death toll from Hurricane Ian passes 100, Florida officials are facing criticism over their evacuation plans and a purported lack of preventative measures that may have saved lives.

In Lee County, where Ian hit as a Category 4 hurricane last Wednesday, over 50 people have been confirmed dead. The county didn't order evacuations until the day before, unlike several other nearby counties, which ordered evacuations on Monday. Florida's director of emergency management said he believes officials "made the best decision they felt was right for their community at that time." When asked about whether more could have been done to prevent deaths, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said we should "spend a little more time…maybe thanking the people that are out there on the front lines saving people’s lives." DeSantis also said over 1,900 rescues had been made as of Monday.

Roughly 391,000 homes and businesses remained without power in Florida on Tuesday, and the storm's damage is expected to cost upwards of $50 billion to repair, especially two main roadways in the Ft. Myers area. President Biden plans to visit Florida Wednesday to assess the damage.

Coverage from left-rated sources tended to frame the storm response from DeSantis and other Florida officials as inadequate, and to paint DeSantis as a hypocrite for requesting federal aid. Right-rated sources tended to focus more on defenses of DeSantis and the late evacuation order for Lee County.

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