A flooded neighborhood following Hurricane Ian in Venice, Florida, on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. Two million electricity customers in Florida remained without power Friday morning, according to the tracking site poweroutage.us
Christopher Morris for TIME
September 30, 2022 11:23 AM EDT

In Cuba, where Hurricane Ian first made landfall on Sept. 27, the storm caused the country’s electricity grid to collapse, leaving 11 million people without power. And on Friday morning, National Hurricane Center’s 8:00 am update indicated the storm was about 105 miles away from Charleston, S.C.—where a flash-flood warning has already been issued, amid wind gusts measured at 74 mph—as the Carolinas braced for Ian’s landfall later in the day. In between, even as the storm temporarily weakened from a Category 4 hurricane to Category 1, its devastating impact was felt Wednesday afternoon in Florida, where it left thousands stranded in the midst of catastrophe.

Homes were demolished and trees felled; portions of bridges such as the Sanibel Causeway, which connects part of mainland Florida to Sanibel Island, will need to be rebuilt. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis referred to the devastation as a “500-year flooding event” on Thursday morning. Officials cannot yet properly assess the amount of damage caused by Hurricane Ian, though Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said his office was struggling to answer thousands of 911 calls received, per the AP.

Read more: Yes, Climate Change Is Making Storms Like Hurricane Ian Worse

ABC News reports 11 confirmed deaths thus far, with a Florida County Commissioner saying this is the worst storm damage he’s ever seen. Rescue operations began in some counties on Thursday morning, allowing for some more than 775 people to be saved. Hospitals have been affected by flooding and a lack of running water, complicating the care patients are able to receive.

Ian, which nearly met the Category 5 mark, is the most powerful storm so far this season. It makes history as just the ninth Category 4 or 5 storm to hit the mainland U.S. in the last 50 years. Take a look at the photos capturing the damage thus far.

Residents emerge at dawn on Sept. 29, 2022, in downtown Crow Gables, Fla., where trees along the street were toppled by Hurricane Ian. (Christopher Morris for TIME)
Residents emerge at dawn on Sept. 29, 2022, in downtown Crow Gables, Fla., where trees along the street were toppled by Hurricane Ian.
Christopher Morris for TIME
Flooding is seen in Fort Myers, Fla., on Sept. 29, 2022, the day after Hurricane Ian hit land. (Christopher Morris for TIME)
Flooding is seen in Fort Myers, Fla., on Sept. 29, 2022, the day after Hurricane Ian hit land.
Christopher Morris for TIME
A semi-trailer turned over by Hurricane Ian's strong winds blocks a stretch of the the Albert W. Gilchrist Bridge between Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, Fla. (Christopher Morris for TIME)
A semi-trailer turned over by Hurricane Ian's strong winds blocks a stretch of the the Albert W. Gilchrist Bridge between Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda, Fla.
Christopher Morris for TIME
Homeowners in Fort Myers, Fla., walk outside their homes on Sept. 29, 2022 to assess damage and wait for help from relatives. (Christopher Morris for TIME)
Homeowners in Fort Myers, Fla., walk outside their homes on Sept. 29, 2022 to assess damage and wait for help from relatives.
Christopher Morris for TIME
In an aerial view, damaged buildings are seen as Hurricane Ian passed through the area on Sept. 29 in Fort Myers Beach, Fla. (Joe Raedle—Getty Images)
In an aerial view, damaged buildings are seen as Hurricane Ian passed through the area on Sept. 29 in Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images
Debris litters a mobile home park in Fort Myers, Fla., on Sept. 29, one day after Hurricane Ian made landfall. (Joseph Agcaoili—AFP/Getty Images)
Debris litters a mobile home park in Fort Myers, Fla., on Sept. 29, one day after Hurricane Ian made landfall.
Joseph Agcaoili—AFP/Getty Images
Stedi Scuderi looks over her apartment after flood water inundated it when Hurricane Ian passed through the area on Sept. 29 in Fort Myers, Fla. (Joe Raedle—Getty Images)
Stedi Scuderi looks over her apartment after flood water inundated it when Hurricane Ian passed through the area on Sept. 29 in Fort Myers, Fla.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images
(L-R) Ken Pham, Lesman Varela, and Fernando Amador clear a large tree off their home after Hurricane Ian passed through on Sept. 29, 2022 in Fort Myers, Fla. (Joe Raedle—Getty Images)
(L-R) Ken Pham, Lesman Varela, and Fernando Amador clear a large tree off their home after Hurricane Ian passed through on Sept. 29, 2022 in Fort Myers, Fla.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images
A broken utility pole behind a collapsed basketball hoop on a flooded street following Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Fla., on Sept. 29. (Eva Marie Uzcategui—Bloomberg/Getty Images)
A broken utility pole behind a collapsed basketball hoop on a flooded street following Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Fla., on Sept. 29.
Eva Marie Uzcategui—Bloomberg/Getty Images
A man takes photos of boats damaged by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Fla., on Sept. 29. (Giorgio Viera—AFP/Getty Images)
A man takes photos of boats damaged by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Fla., on Sept. 29.
Giorgio Viera—AFP/Getty Images
Parts of Sanibel Causeway are washed away along with sections of the bridge after Hurricane Ian passed through the area on Sept. 29, 2022, in Sanibel, Fla. (Joe Raedle—Getty Images)
Parts of Sanibel Causeway are washed away along with sections of the bridge after Hurricane Ian passed through the area on Sept. 29, 2022, in Sanibel, Fla.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images
A damaged causeway to Sanibel Island is seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on Sept. 29 near Sanibel Island, Fla. (Wilfredo Lee—AP)
A damaged causeway to Sanibel Island is seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on Sept. 29 near Sanibel Island, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee—AP
Parts of Sanibel Causeway are washed away along with sections of the bridge after Hurricane Ian passed through the area on Sept. 29 in Sanibel, Fla. (Joe Raedle—Getty Images)
Parts of Sanibel Causeway are washed away along with sections of the bridge after Hurricane Ian passed through the area on Sept. 29 in Sanibel, Fla.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images
Severe flooding from Hurricane Ian is seen against parking garages close to Sanibel Island on Sept. 29. (Christopher Morris for TIME)
Severe flooding from Hurricane Ian is seen against parking garages close to Sanibel Island on Sept. 29.
Christopher Morris for TIME
Damaged homes are seen after Hurricane Ian moved through the Gulf Coast of Fla. on Sept. 29 in Punta Gorda, Fla. (Win McNamee—Getty)
Damaged homes are seen after Hurricane Ian moved through the Gulf Coast of Fla. on Sept. 29 in Punta Gorda, Fla.
Win McNamee—Getty
A wall of a condo was torn off as hurricane Ian passed through on Sept. 30 in Fort Myers, Fla. (Joe Raedle—Getty Images)
A wall of a condo was torn off as hurricane Ian passed through on Sept. 30 in Fort Myers, Fla.
Joe Raedle—Getty Images
Damaged homes and debris are shown in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Fla. (Wilfredo Lee—AP)
Damaged homes and debris are shown in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Fla.
Wilfredo Lee—AP
Nancy Young, 90, who lives along in the Harbor Lights community, sustained significant damage to her mobile home caused by Hurricane Ian that ravaged central Florida in Venice, Florida, on Thursday, September 29, 2022. (The Washington Post/Getty)
Nancy Young, 90, who lives along in the Harbor Lights community, sustained significant damage to her mobile home caused by Hurricane Ian that ravaged central Florida in Venice, Florida, on Thursday, September 29, 2022.
The Washington Post/Getty
More Must-Reads From TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com.

EDIT POST