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New Day Saturday

Coast Guard Rescue More Than 275 People In Florida; Ian Batters SC, Moves North After Making Second U.S. Landfall; Catastrophic Flooding, Winds Destroy Florida Towns; More Than 1.3m Florida Homes, Businesses Remain Without Power, Putin Faces Backlash Over Move To Annex Parts Of Ukraine; Ukraine Encircles Russian Forces Near Donetsk Despite Annexation; U.S. Suicide Rates Rose In 2021 After Declining For Two Years. Aired 8-9a ET

Aired October 01, 2022 - 08:00   ET




ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORTS ANCHOR -- the Mariners have not been to the playoffs since 2001. So, Amara, think about that. All the kids, even if you're in college and you're from Seattle, you've never seen your team in the playoffs. So congrats to everyone there. Fun times in Seattle last time.

AMARA WALKER, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, you got to have a big celebration as they saw there on the field. Thank you so much, Andy Scholes.

SCHOLES: All right.

WALKER: And the next hour of New Day starts right now.

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN ANCHOR: Good morning. Buenos dias, and welcome to the special edition of New Day. It is Saturday, October 1st. We're grateful that you're starting your weekend with us.

I'm Boris Sanchez coming to you live from hard-hit Fort Myers, Florida where cleanup is underway after Hurricane Ian barreled through the state this week and then took aim at the Carolinas.

WALKER: Boris, good to be with you. I'm Amara Walker. Thank you all so much for starting your morning with us. What is left of Hurricane Ian is moving north this morning after leaving a path of destruction across Florida and now the Carolinas.

SANCHEZ: After making landfall as a Category 1 hurricane in that region, it's now moving inland as a post-tropical cyclone. And even though it's been downgraded, officials warn it still threatens that area with heavy rain and floods.

WALKER: Yes. In South Carolina, the storm flooded homes and vehicles along the shoreline and as high winds pushed historic storm surge even higher two piers. One in Pawleys Island and this one in North Myrtle Beach partially collapsed, just washed away. Ian is blamed for at least 45 deaths.

The storm slamming into Southwest Florida as a severe Category 4 hurricane Wednesday, packing sustained winds of 150 miles per hour. The Coast Guard says it has rescued more than 200 people. But volunteers have gone out to save many more. The Cajun Navy came to the rescue of a woman in Fort Myers Beach who says she stood on her bed for hours as waters rushed into her home.

HOPE LABRIOLA: I am up to my neck in water.

LISBETH WHELAN: OK, all right.

LABRIOLA: I am so cold.

WHELAN: Hopie, I'm losing you, I can't hear you.

LABRIOLA: I love you.

WHELAN: I love you.


WALKER: Oh my goodness. We just hear the desperation and the terror in that woman's voice. Now across the state, more than 1.3 million homes and businesses were still in the dark this morning. And for many who were able to evacuate, they are unsure of what they're going to return to.


UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: My grandparents are still at the house. We have animals there. They don't leave the animals. So whenever we left on the boat, it was just a scary feeling like you don't know if you're ever going to see them again, if you're going to see your house again, your animals again. So that's why it's a little shaken up. It's just, you never know what you're going to come back to.


SANCHEZ: And we're hearing more of these harrowing accounts as folks start to pick up after the damage from Hurricane Ian. We'll get to those stories in just a moment but we want to update you on what we're dealing with right now.

Beginning our coverage this morning, CNN Meteorologist Britley Ritz is monitoring Ian's track north but we start with Miguel Marquez, who's live for us in Myrtle Beach. Miguel, the storm just passing through there not long ago. What does it look like right now? What are conditions like where you are?

MIGUEL MARQUEZ, CNN SENIOR NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: It is always a shock to go through those storms and to see such devastation and how horrendous it can be and how fearful they are. And then the sun comes out the next day and it is a perfectly gorgeous day like we're seeing here in Myrtle Beach. But this is a lot of the stuff that they're dealing with here. You know, the beach erosion is really bad all along the South Carolina coast is still a lot of people without power here. There were a lot of trees down, the rain, the water, not only coming from the sky in the form of rain but also the tide. And that storm surge all at the same time is what they were most concerned with. Hear the mayor of North Myrtle Beach here sort of explained why this storm -- even though it was only a Category 1, why this storm was just so difficult.


MAYOR MARILYN HATLEY, NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SOUTH CAROLINA: I don't think that we were expecting it to come in close to the North Myrtle Beach area as what it did. The eye made landfall about 30 -- 35 miles from our community. And, of course, we receive the winds around 60 miles per hour. But the storm surge, they -- the timing of the storm was not good for us because it came in around the high tide air time.



MARQUEZ: And it was that high tide and that storm surge together that really caused a lot of damage in communities across the coast here. But because that storm came across so devastatingly in Florida, because people were paying attention to that, there were no mass evacuations here in South Carolina.

But people were paying attention to what authorities were saying. They were watching the weather. They were watching the storm. And amazingly and thankfully, there were no major injuries or deaths here in South Carolina. Boris?

SANCHEZ: We're glad to hear that folks there heeded the warnings, of course, Miguel, the situation here in southwest Florida unfortunately very different. Miguel Marquez from Myrtle Beach, thank you so much.

WALKER: All right, let's go now to CNN Meteorologist Britley Ritz. And Britley, where do things stand now with Ian?

BRITLEY RITZ, CNN METEOROLOGIST: It's still got the potential of causing major flooding and we still deal with wind gusts, Amara. The system itself has decomposed basically. As it hit the land, it just shred itself apart. The friction of the land helped deteriorated. Still moving north northwest at 12 miles per hour. Gusts reaching over 45 at times. But the heavy rain, one of the bigger concerns.

Across parts of the Virginia is back into parts of the Tennessee River Valley with few showers leftover, but we wind things out to show you that rain extends all the way up into New England. And within some of these areas, we could be dealing with flooding, especially since we're already saturated from previous systems.

Now, over the last 48 hours from Charleston to Wilmington, we've picked up 2 to 4, possibly 6 inches of rain heaviest down through Charleston, where we're seeing the yellows and the reds. All right, 3 million people under some sort of flood alert. We have coastal flood advisories and coastal flood warnings over toward the coastline from Wilmington to Norfolk up into parts of Jersey.

What this means, it's not raining, it's just pushing the water on the shore because of the gusty winds. So we wind up within the warned areas with 1 to 2 feet of water standing. But within the flood watches that you're seeing across parts of the Virginia's, this is where we are getting rain and it is heavy at times which is why we're highlighted in yellow for more of that slight risk a little more vulnerable for picking up another 2 to 4 inches of rain on top of what we've already picked up.

Showing you future radar that rain extends up into New England over the next few hours into the rest of this evening. And finally, the rain chances will start to taper back a bit as we roll into the latter part of our weekend. And we talked about the strong winds, yes, many are under wind advisories where were highlighted in orange that extends through the rest of today over 2 million dealing with wind gusts over 35 miles per hour. Amara?

WALKER: Alrighty, Britley Ritz, appreciate it. Thanks.

SANCHEZ: As dawn rises here in southwest Florida, neighbors are confronting some difficult questions including, when can we go home? And once we return, what might be left of home? It's too soon to tell exactly how long this recovery is going to take and how much it's going to cost.

Hurricane Ian pummeled Florida leaving a stunning scale of wreckage. Just a devastating trail all the way from Southwest Florida, Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, Naples all through Orlando, which got heavily flooded and surprise those who have survived other powerful hurricanes. Many who have been able to return to their neighborhoods have found their homes unrecognizable.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I thought I was saving the rugs putting it on the beds, but beds are soaked. There's the fridge.


SANCHEZ: We want to talk to the person who shot that video out of Naples, Florida. Brandon Barlow joins us this morning. His brother Dylan is also with us. Brandon and Dylan, we're grateful that you are with us and that it appears the damage you sustained was mostly just property and not physical. So Brandon, that was from your grandfather's home. What was it like walking in there and seeing all of that?

BRANDON BARLOW, RODE CUT HURRICANE IAN: Right. So it was -- I mean, it's devastating. It's a load one storey home, right on a canal and just walking in there, you know, you realize that either the whole house needs to be gutted or it needs to come down on because you don't know if it's going to happen again in the future.


But, you know, first, I just want to say big thanks to all the first responders. You know, we've had people coming and doing door checks. We've been seeing the Coast Guard fly around in helicopters. You know, we have three family with homes in the area within Vanderbilt beach, and we're all affected. So, you know, just everybody, everybody that's been affected, you know, thoughts and prayers with everybody.

SANCHEZ: No question. And our thanks and sincere appreciation goes out to those first responders, the work they do is incredible. And it's still ongoing. We're hearing stories of folks that as of just a few hours ago, were still stranded on their roofs, because their homes had become inundated in areas that are inaccessible to people.

And Dylan, I'm wondering when you hear that, that there are still folks out there that are trapped, that are in need of help, how does that make you feel, knowing that the damage that you sustained was relatively -- you know, it was only property when you hear that your neighbors are going through that. How does that make you feel?

DYLAN BARLOW, RODE CUT HURRICANE IAN: Yes, this is a very devastating hurricane. It's definitely the worst of my time. And we're just glad that my family is safe. Yes, the home is damaged. Yes, the cars are gone. But what matters is that we're OK. So it's -- our community is currently coming together to help everyone out. And we're just trying our best -- as best as we can to help the community.

SANCHEZ: Yes. It's so inspiring during these difficult times to watch people come together in the most difficult circumstances. Brandon, I want to share with our viewers video that you shot during the storm, because your own home suffered extreme damage. The first floor was completely flooded. How are you handling this now?

B. BARLOW: So, I mean, we've been talking to neighbors right now. And, you know, we're just glad that everybody's OK. But the next steps from here are rebuilding. So we've been cleaning the whole house, talking to insurance. And, you know, the one thing with Florida and insurance is that sometimes they'll give you hard times dealing with that.

So, you know, everybody that's been affected by the storm needs to take proper action. You know, make sure you're being treated fairly by insurance companies or other third parties. There's going to be a lot of people and contractors coming out to you. I just want everybody to make sure they're being informed and looking at best practices when doing that.

SANCHEZ: Brandon, that's a great piece of advice. I'm actually from Florida, myself, and I'm familiar with, unfortunately, some of the fraud that comes with storms like this. And insurance companies often are very critical. They are scrutinized a lot of claims. So it's important that people know what they're getting themselves into and how to get what they need from their insurance companies.

Dylan, we understand that you guys also had to rescue your grandfather. Tell us what that was like. D. BARLOW: Yes. So my grandfather actually lives a few streets away from us. And I was looking over the canal at a neighbor's home being flooded. So I called my grandfather and I pretty much -- I didn't ask them if we could pick him up. I told him we're picking him up. So we took the car. We got to his house.

And by the time we got him out of the house, there was already maybe 2 feet of water. And yes, we drove back in the water. And we -- it was very close, but we got him out of there. We got him back to my mom's house safely, so.

B. BARLOW: I like to add, if we didn't get him out when we did, he would have been swimming to higher ground somehow. So it was close. Close call.

SANCHEZ: Yes. Brandon and Dylan, I'm glad it worked out for you and your grandfather. We're glad that you were safe. Please keep us updated and let us know in what ways we can help, the recovery in your area and help out your neighbors when they need it most.

B. BARLOW: OK, thank you. And I'd like to just, you know, say that, you know, as Floridians, you know, our thoughts and prayers and hope everybody's doing OK out there.

SANCHEZ: Thank you so much. Brendan and Dylan, appreciate the time.

D. BARLOW: Thank you.

B. BARLOW: Thank you.

SANCHEZ: So in just about -- of course, and just about five minutes or so, we're going to check in with Florida Power and Light on the efforts. They are undertaking to get the lights back on, to get electricity back up and running to the more than 1.3 million Floridians that are still in the dark. There's also a new tool we're going to tell you about that the state's largest electric company is using to aid in that process.


WALKER: All right. Still to come this morning, the U.S. announces new sanctions against Russia. The warning from President Biden after Putin's latest land grab. Also, a government shutdown averted just hours before funding was set to expire. We've heard this before happened right, what it took to get it done and when lawmakers will have to do when they'll have to do it all over again. That's next.


SANCHEZ: Welcome back. I'm Boris Sanchez live in Fort Myers, Florida, a city left virtually in ruins this morning after Hurricane Ian. In the wake of the storms destructive path, more than 1.3 million homes and businesses in Florida remain without electricity. About 75 percent of those outages are in Lee County which includes where we are in Fort Myers and nearby Cape Coral.


At the front of the effort to restore electricity is Florida Power and Light. Their spokesman Dave Reuter joins us now live. Dave, thank you so much for sharing part of your weekend with us. I know it's a very busy time.

As our crew was driving into Fort Myers last night, there were countless utility trucks headed toward this area. It was -- it made up the majority of the traffic as we were getting here. So we know that you guys are working hard to get folks back online. How long do you expect it's going to take to get the lights back on in places like Fort Myers?

DAVE REUTER, CHIEF COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER, FLORIDA POWER & LIGHT: Good morning, Boris. Yes, you know, we are making really good progress, I think, in terms of the restoration of power. At the height of the storm, we had about 2.1 million FPL customers out of power. We've now successfully restored about 1.4 million of those customers.

And the good news this morning is just a bit ago, we went under 700,000 customers that are still without power. Obviously, we have a lot of work to do still in the West counties, that's where all of our focus is at the moment. And we're not going to stop until we get every single customer's power back on.

SANCHEZ: Walk us through some of the challenges that you face as this effort gets underway because it is a complex job, right?

REUTER: It is a complex job. You know, I think if you look at what we've been seeing in the West counties, you know, we've been out flying our drones, starting to really get eyes in the sky and understand the extent of the damage in the West. That's obviously where the storm surge in particular has caused a lot of problems for us.

And, you know, those are problems, which are going to take several more days to, you know, maybe even weeks in order to solve successfully and get the lights on for everybody. But, you know, the other good news is, if you look at the rest of the state, we think we will be essentially restored in every place, but the west by about Tuesday. And then our focus, you know, will continue to be to get the lights on for everybody in those West counties.

SANCHEZ: And Dave, were showing video of some of the drones that you mentioned, that are assisting this sort of new technology that helps expedite the process of getting the lights back on. I'm wondering how do you prioritize where you're able to restore power first?

REUTER: Well, we certainly start with our power generating plants. We start with the transmission grid, that allows us to make sure that the backbone of the system is operating well. And then we get down to the neighborhood level, right? Where, you know, where the power lines that you see in your neighborhoods, the substations that provide power to different, you know, subdivisions and so forth, that's where we have the most -- most of our efforts are going to be in the next few days, particularly in the West. Yesterday, for instance, we were out with our drones. We were able to fly the FPLAir One fixed wing drone yesterday for the first time. We flew up and down the coast from Fort Myers south, really assessing where we see the biggest damage. And that's allowing us to put our game plan together so we can figure out what the next few days and week is going to hold.

SANCHEZ: Yes, it's going to be a long process. I imagine over the last few years they've -- we've seen an increase in active hurricanes and in the intensity of the storms. I'm wondering how FPL is preparing Florida's electrical grid for the future in the face of potentially another catastrophic storm like this one?

REUTER: Well, for the last almost 15 years, we've been investing significantly in hardening the grid throughout the state, throughout our service territory. We've poured billions of dollars into underground lines, into hardening transmission structures, more concrete and steel, as opposed to wood. We're actually at the point now where almost our entire transmission system in the state is steel or concrete.

And we've underground in about 40 percent of neighborhood lines throughout our service territory. So those efforts have paid off in this storm. For instance, the transmission grid that runs through the west part of the state did not suffer a single tower failure. And that's important, because that's going to allow us to get the power back on even quicker as we get down to the neighborhood level.

SANCHEZ: Dave Reuter, we have to leave the conversation there. We appreciate your efforts to get power back to the people of Florida. It is going to be a long process of recovery and getting the power back on is such a keystone in that. Dave Reuter, thank you again.

REUTER: Thank you, Boris.

SANCHEZ: Of course.

WALKER: Those living in annexed regions of Ukraine now are Russian citizens, at least according to Vladimir Putin. We'll tell you how the rest of the world is reacting next.



WALKER: Russian President Vladimir Putin is facing backlash over his move to annex parts of Ukraine. Putin says Russia is seizing four regions of Ukraine about one-fifth of the country after what the U.S. and the West called sham referendums.

CNN Senior International Correspondent Matthew Chance looks at how Putin his plan is playing out.


VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT: (Speaking Foreign Language). MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Victory will be ours, he shouts. President Putin vowing success in Ukraine soon after announcing a significant escalation in his war. Invited crowd yelled their support back. But this carefully choreographed fervor is unlikely to be shared by many Russians still fleeing his call to arms.


Earlier from the Kremlin, Putin dramatically raised the stakes, annexing for more Ukrainian regions after his sham referendums showed huge unlikely support for Moscow's rule.

VLADIMIR PUTIN, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT (through translation): People living in Luhansk and Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia are becoming our citizens forever.

CHANCE (voice-over): Putin said he wanted Kyiv to come to the negotiating table, but that the fate of the occupied regions was not up for debate.

PUTIN (through translation): The choice of the people in the four provinces, we are not going to discuss. Russia is not going to betray it.

CHANCE (voice-over): His speech framing Russia's land grab as part of an existential battle. Ukraine's Western allies, he said, were determined to weaken his country. He declared any attack on the annexed areas would be an attack on Russia itself, vowing to use all the means at his disposal if Ukraine tries to reclaim them.

The announcement met with dutiful applause from Russia's political elite, that behind their stony glares, they must know how much this war is costing.

On the battlefield, Russia is facing its worst setbacks since invading in February. While at home, there's been wide protests against the mobilization of Russia's men to fight. There's also the global condemnation. The U.S. imposing fresh sanctions against Russian officials with other Western allies following suit.

And in Ukraine, President Zelenskyy called Putin's move a farce and said Ukraine would accelerate its request to join NATO.

VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY, UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT (through translation): Today, here in Kyiv, in the heart of our country, we are taking a decisive step for the security of the entire community of free nations.

But in Red Square, the stage manage celebrations are meant to send a powerful message at home and abroad. No matter the criticism or the consequences, Putin's Russia is determined to take this path.


WALKER: All right, our thanks to Matthew Chance for that report. Also new this morning, Ukrainian forces have encircled several thousand Russian troops near a key town in Donetsk, one of the four Moscow held territories that Putin claimed to annex on Friday.

An Army spokesperson tells CNN that Russian fighters have tried to form convoys to break through the blockade, but their attempts have been unsuccessful. And that retaking the area would give Ukraine more leverage to push further east into Russian occupied territory.

It's getting complicated now. Let's bring in Retired Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, CNN Military Analyst and former Commanding General of the U.S. Army Europe and the Seventh Army. Lieutenant General, good morning to you and it's great to see you. I guess the question is, are we about to see a major escalation now with this land grab?

LT. GENERAL MARK HERTLING (RET.), CNN MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I certainly think we're talking first of all, a land grab that's in flagrant violation of international law has no legitimacy and it's going to generate repercussions on the world stage to be sure.

You mix that, Amara, as you just said, there has been additional successes on the battlefield near the city of Lyman, where Ukrainian forces have surrounded what's estimated to be about 5,000 Russian troops in that key city in one of the old blocks that false -- had votes falsified under orders from the Kremlin.

So all of that is going to contribute to ramping up the dynamics of this war on both sides. I think Ukrainian forces are going to continue to assault in both Luhansk and Donetsk. They are going to continue to secure the cities of Zaporizhzhia in the south and Kherson, the capital of those two provinces. So this whole sham and almost psychotic, and I'll say it is psychotic proclamation by Mr. Putin is just runs against reality.

WALKER: And this is happening despite the fact, Lieutenant General, that, you know, we've been hearing over and over just how depleted the Russian military is, especially with that recent partial mobilization of 300,000 Russian troops and how desperate Putin is, how he has been put in a corner with a lot of the missteps and the setbacks militarily, and even so he's, you know, in flagrant violation of international law.

So, I mean, what can the West do at this point beyond sanctions, because as we've seen with the 2014 Crimea land grab, the sanctions didn't prevent Putin from moving into this new phase of Russia's annexation of Ukraine, parts of Ukraine?


HERTLING: Yes. The Crimea land grab in 2014 is entirely different from both the military economic and diplomatic effort that we're seeing this time, Amara. You mentioned and everyone is watching the military activities very closely and Ukraine is increasingly successful on the battlefield. But the sanctions and export controls that are hitting Russia now that are having significant effects are just more dynamics that were not happening in 2014.

After Putin speech, the Treasury Department sanctioned 14 international arm suppliers that were supporting Russia with weapons. That hadn't happened before. They sanction not only just members of his inner circle, but yesterday, 109 additional members of the Russian State Duma, which is the lower House are equivalent of Congress, and 169 members of the Federation castle, the Upper House or their Senate. That's never happened before.

So you saw the faces on that crowd inside the Kremlin as Mr. Putin was given his speech. There were not a lot of happy campers inside of that audience. And it was reflected on their faces, you can tell a lot --


HERTLING: -- by body language. In addition to that you have President Biden signing legislation for another $12 billion funding and expecting more in security assistance next week. In the U.N., you're going to see a vote taken to again, counter Russian activities, and even Russia's allies, China and India are sustaining -- or excuse me, abstaining from those votes. He doesn't have a whole lot of friends and diplomacy, economy or military right now.

WALKER: I just want to pick up on what you -- the word you used earlier, Lieutenant General, you said psychotic describing Putin. I mean, do you -- are you seeing or hearing a more emboldened, desperate or reckless Putin right now, especially with all of his tactical losses?

HERTLING: Yes, I think all of our -- all of us are. And, you know, as -- we're as I'm no psychiatrist, Amara, you know that. The fact that there is such hubris in the face of failure at every level that Mr. Putin is exhibiting is just amazing. And he still tries to do the Machiavellian approach of maneuvering pieces on the chessboard. And there's nothing really to maneuver right now.

He's been condemned on the world stage, he's losing on the battlefield, his economy is faltering. And yet he's still doubling down. He has not been successful in any of his political strategic or operational objectives yet. So just doubling down indicates someone who has lost a relationship with reality.

WALKER: So just quickly, is it time for the U.S. to give more high-end weapons to Ukraine to step things up now?

HERTLING: Well, I think that's what is happening with the most recent tranche of weapons that the President signed yesterday and hopes to sign next week. But building a modern-day Army on the battlefield, a large modern-day Army is going to take time.

Secretary Austin has said that's the intent, as in the long term, but you just can't drop weapons on the battlefield and expect them to come together in a large-scale operation. So the gradual delivery of these kinds of weapons from not just the United States, but other NATO nations is critically important to the future of Ukraine.

WALKER: Always appreciate your perspective and expertise. General Mark Hertling, thank you very much for your time.

HERTLING: Thank you, Amara.

WALKER: So troubling new data from the CDC showing suicide rates on the rise. We're going to have the numbers and analysis for you next.



WALKER: Suicide rates in the U.S. rose in 2021 after declining for two years and that is according to data from the CDC. Experts say it underscores the need for more and better access to mental health services. CNN Medical Correspondent Dr. Tara Narula has a story.

DR. TARA NARULA, CNN MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: We know that suicide is a major contributor to premature death in the United States. And in fact, it's the second leading cause of death in the U.S. and those ages 10 to 34. The CDC recently released data that showed after a two- year decline, there was an increase in suicide in 2021.

Almost 48,000 individuals died by suicide in the U.S. in 2021, which was up by about 1,700 from the year before. In general, when you look over the past 20 years, there has been about a 31 percent increase in suicide. When you break it down by gender, men are about four times more likely to die by suicide than women.

And in this particular study, the group that saw the biggest percent statistically significant increase was in those who are 15 to 24 and were male. All of this really points to the need in this country for better mental health care, better mental health care access, and really a comprehensive approach to how we deal with suicide prevention.

In fact, the recent launch of the 988 suicide crisis prevention text and call line will hopefully help. They saw over 400,000 contacts in August. And one other thing to point out is we know that firearms are actually used in over 50 percent of those who died by suicide. And this has led many to focus on safe storage as a big way to at least lower the lethality associated and hopefully keep many more individuals alive.


WALKER: Very concerning. Our thanks to Dr. Tara Narula for that.

SANCHEZ: We are live this morning in Fort Myers, Florida as rescue and recovery efforts continue in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

Up next, we're going to take you to another part of Lee County where businesses are left behind as nothing but splinters. And boats were tossed into the street, a devastating hurricane for Southwest Florida. More pictures and stories still ahead.



SANCHEZ: We're just about 51 minutes past the hour live in Fort Myers, Florida as folks here are assessing the damage and beginning the recovery effort after Hurricane Ian, a powerful Category 4 hurricane tore through this area. And you can see from another vantage point and this mobile home park that we're in in Fort Myers that people's homes have been totally devastated.

We've come across everything from home wares, clothing, furniture, toys on the ground, just debris flung through this entire park. And it's not just Fort Myers that's suffering. Look at this headline from the Tampa Bay Times. It really says it all, Florida brought to its knees. The damage expensive from Fort Myers Beach, North to Naples even hours away with flooding in Orlando.

And, Amara, while there are aerial photographs of the devastation that Hurricane Ian left behind that give us one view, an up-close look reveals details of homes, details of lives that were torn apart by Ian.

WALKER: Yes, all the personal things that were lost as well. CNN Correspondent Bill Weir taking us on a walk through one neighborhood turned upside down by Ian

BILL WEIR, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on-camera): These are shorebirds and pelicans walking across wreckage in what used to be San Carlos harbor. It seemed better days as you can see. This is the destructive path of Ian. It came wrecking across here.

A lot of the businesses here of course have to do with recreation here in paradise, kayak, rentals, bait shops, completely split open by the wind. But what's most striking about this particular spot is the boats that have been tossed into the mangroves across the street here. We have a bit of a bottleneck of human activity because this is the road to Fort Myers Beach.

And the sheriff's department is not letting anybody on. If you haven't seen any pictures of Fort Myers Beach, this is why. There is a first informer law in Florida that's supposed to give us access when there's a state of emergency. But you got to feel for the sheriff's deputies just trying to manage the crowds here now that are piling in.

You've got journalists, of course, you got first responders. You have residents who were just curious who are coming by and that's creating this huge pile but this is what I wanted to show you. This is across San Carlos Boulevard and just get a load of this, just wanton, indiscriminate destruction.

I think about how a family saves up their whole life to buy a boat or if you're a fisherman, you dream of being a captain one day and how perilous that is even in a good year sometimes. But now, what this will do to the maritime businesses around here, the insurance, the marine insurance companies that will have to deal with the aftermath of this.

And this is what I really wanted to show you guys, look at this. I will always remember the sight of Captain Greg's boat the Cracker Jack, which is now parked on top of this Chevy Suburban. You can hear the alarm going off inside the boat to alert the captain that something's wrong. It's heartbreaking in this setting.

And then you've got laundry baskets up in the mangroves there. Another bait shop over here.


And then you find stuff like this. Look at this. Just a random -- this is Nicolas Rollin's (ph) MGM rewards card just sat down there by the most violent storm to hit this part of the coast in history. And meanwhile over here, you have the beeping of earth movers as they tried to shove these grounded sailboats out of the way.

As we learned in Irma and Maria, cleanup can be as much of a manmade disaster as the hurricane itself, if not properly managed. But we can only hope that all available resources will manage and jumble this mess as soon as possible for these poor folks.

WALKER: The scale is just hard to grasp. That was our Bill Weir reporting.

SANCHEZ: Our coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Ian continues throughout the morning and the day here on CNN. We're going to turn it over to Michael Smerconish up next.

WALKER: I'll see you in hour.