Live updates: Ian intensifies into a hurricane again off Atlantic coast of Florida

(FL Pool)

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke about efforts to “stabilize and restore” infrastructure and power in affected communities, during a Thursday afternoon news conference from Charlotte County,  

“We were able to fly out here. The airport is operational,” said DeSantis. “We were happy to see the interstates flowing,” the governor added.  

DeSantis said he understands the rebuilding efforts are just beginning and that much more needed to be done.

The governor noted the utter devastation that hit some areas. 

A home burns on Sanibel Island on Thursday.
A home burns on Sanibel Island on Thursday. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)

“Sanibel is destruction,” he said, referring to the island off the coast of Fort Myers.  He described the impact, which washed away three sections of the Sanibel Causeway, as a “really Biblican storm surge.”  

“We’re committed to restoring the infrastructure as needed. That is not going to be an overnight task,” said DeSantis.  

Florida Power & Light has a key role in helping the state recover, the governor said.  

A section of the Sanibel Causeway was washed away.
A section of the Sanibel Causeway was washed away. (Steve Helber/AP)
“This is a 24/7 effort to stabilize and restore,” he added. 

DeSantis was joined by First Lady Casey DeSantis, President of Florida Power & Light Eric Silagy, Division of Emergency Management director Kevin Guthrie, and others.  

Silagy said FPL has about 20,000 crews across the state. 

“We have 1.2 million customers who are out of power, but we have been able to restore over 700,000 customers before the storm even left the state,” Silagy said.  

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