Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Search and Rescue Effort Continue Across Southwest Florida

More than 700 individuals have been rescued in Charlotte & Lee counties

Florida - Friday September 30, 2022: More than 700 individuals have been rescued in Charlotte & Lee counties since search and rescue operations began Thursday morning.

There are currently 42,000 linemen responding to the more than 2.5 million reported power outages. They have already restored power to more than 200,000 accounts in Southwest Florida.

First Lady Casey DeSantis also announced that donations have poured in to the Florida Disaster Fund, surpassing $10 million in just 24 hours of being activated.

The Florida Disaster Fund is the State of Florida’s official private fund established to provide financial assistance to our communities as they respond to and recover from times of emergency or disaster. In partnership with public, private and other non-governmental organizations, the Florida Disaster Fund supports response and recovery activities. To contribute, please visit or text DISASTER to 20222.

The Federal Government has also added the following counties to the major disaster declaration, meaning they will receive individual assistance and category A (debris removal) funding at 100% for 30 days: Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Polk.

VIEW a video of the devastation in Lee County taken from the Lee County Sheriff's helicopter unit HERE>

Search and Rescue

  • Since 1 a.m. Thursday, search and rescue operations have been underway in response to Hurricane Ian. Urban Search and Rescue Team 2 was the first on site and the Coast Guard made dozens of rescues overnight. There are 8 USAR teams with more than 800 team members are performing search and rescue.
  • As of 2 p.m. Thursday, more than 700 individuals have been rescued in Charlotte & Lee counties since SAR operations began this morning.
  • The Missouri Task Force 1 Disaster Situational Assessment and Reconnaissance (DSAR) Team is deploying to Florida through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact to support urban search and rescue efforts and incident assessment.
  • A Florida Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) Team deployed to Central Florida to support state USAR Task Forces and incident assessment.
  • The National Guard and the Coast Guard are landing helicopters on barrier islands to perform search and rescue.
  • Search and Rescue crews rallied at the Fort Myers Sports Complex and have been running operations since Thursday morning.
  • Florida National Guard members are conducting incident awareness and assessment missions this morning in Sarasota, DeSoto, Charlotte, Collier and Lee Counties. We expect that throughout the day, the Florida Guard will be engaged in a multitude of missions including search and rescue and route clearance operations. 
  • Wednesday night, Florida National Guard Brig. Gen. Sean Boyette, Task Force Florida commander, was appointed the Dual Status Command (DSC) commander in anticipation of Title 10 active-duty forces being assigned to assist with recovery operations. 
  • Following Governor DeSantis' authorization, a total of 5,000 Florida Guardsmen were activated to State Active Duty for Hurricane Ian response operations. Up to 2,000 Guardsmen from neighboring states are also activated to assist.