FORT MYERS, Fla. – Images of the destruction wrought by the ferocious winds of former Hurricane Ian are being revealed Thursday as residents who opted to stay venture outside.
Ian was a monstrous Category 4 storm with 150-mph winds when it came ashore on Cayo Costa about 3 p.m. Wednesday. About 90 minues later, the hurricane made a second U.S. landfall – this time just south of Punta Gorda with 145-mph winds.
FOX Weather correspondent Robert Ray reported live from a marina on the shores of Fort Myers, one of the hardest hit areas in Florida, saying concrete docks had been split in two.
"Just a ridiculous amount of destruction," Ray said.
Bob Benham said he witnessed the marina being ripped to shreds from his apartment in a nearby 33-story high-rise where he rode out the storm.
"It was the strongest weather I’ve ever seen," Benham said.
According to Benham, he noticed the winds switch directions about 3 p.m. and begin blowing on shore. That was when the destruction started.
"The docks started weaving … and then they started separating, and boats were tied to the docks, they didn’t separate from the docks, and they all started to just piling up like Tinkertoys," Benham said. "It was pretty amazing."
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Benham said the tremendous damage was revealed at daybreak.
"We got up this morning, and there were no docks left," Benham said.
Rescue efforts are underway across Florida. Helicopters are being used in places where damaged roads are making it difficult to reach those stranded by the storm.
At least two deaths, believed to be related to Hurricane Ian, have been reported in the state, according to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.
More than 2 million power outages have been reported across Florida.