National Guard troops deployed to Florida barrier islands cut off by Hurricane Ian

National Guard troops were moving water and other supplies to those hardest-hit by Ian in the barrier islands.

On Monday, about 100 National Guard troops headed for barrier islands in Florida that were cut off by Hurricane Ian.

Ian made landfall on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm on the barrier island of Cayo Costa in southwest Florida.

FOX Weather correspondent Max Gorden reported from Southwest Florida International Airport on Monday, which was alive with activity with National Guard troops.

National Guard troops were moving water and other supplies to those hardest hit by Ian in the barrier islands. Large Chinook helicopters could also be seen picking up Humvees and carrying them to those isolated barrier islands for that aid mission.

Thousands of people living on barrier islands were – and remain – cut off from mainland Florida after Hurricane Ian struck. 

The National Guard, along with local law enforcement and fire crews and the U.S. Coast Guard, continue to rescue people in areas still entirely surrounded by water with no way in or out unless by boat or air.

One of the most devastated barrier islands was Sanibel Island, which lies off the coast of Fort Myers, Florida. Sanibel residents were left stranded after Hurricane Ian wiped out the causeway that linked Sanibel to the mainland.


While the mission to help barrier island residents is significant, it was particularly meaningful for many troops.

"For a lot of these folks, they're actually from Florida," said Gorden. "This is a very personal mission for them, and so, they want to be here. They want to be helping their neighbors, and this is a very critical mission for a lot of these people."

Gorden noted how many parts of Florida don’t have access to food or clean drinking water. Gas is also in short supply as, while gas stations do have fuel, many people have to wait for long lives to reach the fuel pumps.

While Southwest Florida International Airport was abuzz with National Guard troops on Monday, it will resume flying commercial flights for civilians in some capacity on Wednesday.