In Hardee County, Hurricane Ian claimed two lives. Many Hardee communities are flooded.
Hardee County is east of Manatee County and only has 25,000 people. But more than 99 percent of them were without power Friday morning. The Hardee County newspaper The Herald-Advocate reports there have been two deaths. One was a medical incident during the storm in which emergency crews couldn’t respond because of high winds. The other body was found as rescuers searched a flooded community.
Hardee’s public information officer said the casualty count is likely to rise as rescuers enter severely flooded communities. In Zolfo springs, located at the end of Hardee County has communities completely engulfed by water. Emergency officials have reported water 6 feet deep in a mobile home park in Wauchula. It has also been reported that the Hardee County Animal Refuge at Pioneer Park is completely flooded.
The county’s emergency management director said Peace River flooding was the highest in recorded history. The United States Coast Guard provided daytime rescues for residents trapped on rooftops. The Superintendent of schools said schools are closed for now because power and other utilities are out. Hardee Junior High school is remaining open until Saturday for a general population shelter.
For Information about recovery efforts please call: 863-773-6373