How you can help those impacted by Hurricane Ian

A satellite image from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Hurricane Ian as it approached Florida.

Hurricane Ian was a monster, assaulting Florida’s west coast with winds of 150 mph and a cataclysmic storm surge. With rescuers struggling to reach those who tried to ride out the storm at home, we don’t yet know the human toll of the storm; the physical damage was almost incalculable, with pre-storm estimates of up to $70 billion in losses, which could cripple Florida’s already-staggering property insurance market.

Ian was one of the worst hurricanes ever to hit the Sunshine State.

And if you have the means — and were spared the brunt of the storm yourself — VoteWater asks that you do what you can to help.

The Tampa Bay Times published a smart list of practical tips regarding yard debris, food, shelter and more at this link. The Times also published an extremely helpful article on “What to do if Hurricane Ian damages your home.”

And though the storm has passed the impacts haven’t; Lake Okeechobee stood at 13.10 feet before Ian’s arrival; as of 9 a.m. Thursday morning it had risen to 13.60 feet, in part due to back-pumping to keep the canals low enough to protect the cities of Belle Glade and South Bay. Officials with the South Florida Water Management District say the storm could ultimately cause the lake to rise to 15 feet. 

Ian has passed — but the effects are going to be with Florida for a long time to come.