Photos reveal how Hurricane Ian flooded, pummeled and destroyed parts of Florida

Florida was pummeled and flooded as a massive Hurricane Ian came ashore Wednesday, Sept. 28, bringing pounding storm surge, powerful wind and relentless rainfall from the southwestern coast up along the I-4 corridor.

The hurricane, the fifth-most powerful to ever hit the U.S., left countless homes and businesses wrecked or underwater, coastal cities nearly decimated and nearly 2.7 million people without power.

A drone photo captured the damage Hurricane Ian inflicted on San Carlos Island in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.
A drone photo captured the damage Hurricane Ian inflicted on San Carlos Island in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

ABOVE: A drone photo captured the damage Hurricane Ian inflicted on San Carlos Island in Fort Myers Beach, Florida. (Rebecca Blackwell, AP)

Fort Myers Beach, along with Lee County’s other barrier islands, took the brunt of Hurricane Ian’s assault on Florida’s coastline.

This handout picture courtesy of the US Coast Guard aircrew from Air Station Miami, Florida, shows damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian around the Fort Myers area, Florida, on Sept. 29, 2022. - Hurricane Ian left much of coastal southwest Florida in darkness early on Thursday, bringing "catastrophic" flooding that left officials readying a huge emergency response to a storm of rare intensity. The National Hurricane Center said the eye of the "extremely dangerous" hurricane made landfall just after 3:00 pm (1900 GMT) on the barrier island of Cayo Costa, west of the city of Fort Myers.
This handout picture courtesy of the US Coast Guard aircrew from Air Station Miami, Florida, shows damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian around the Fort Myers area, Florida, on Sept. 29, 2022. - Hurricane Ian left much of coastal southwest Florida in darkness early on Thursday, bringing "catastrophic" flooding that left officials readying a huge emergency response to a storm of rare intensity. The National Hurricane Center said the eye of the "extremely dangerous" hurricane made landfall just after 3:00 pm (1900 GMT) on the barrier island of Cayo Costa, west of the city of Fort Myers.

ABOVE: This aerial photo from the US Coast Guard aircrew shows damage around the Fort Myers area.

This aerial photo shows damaged homes and debris in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers Beach, Fla.
This aerial photo shows damaged homes and debris in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers Beach, Fla.

ABOVE: This aerial photo shows damaged homes and debris in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers. (Wildredo Lee, AP)

Damage to Fort Myers marinad near bridge to Ft. Myers Beach after Hurricane Ian on September 29 2022.
Damage to Fort Myers marinad near bridge to Ft. Myers Beach after Hurricane Ian on September 29 2022.

ABOVE: Hurricane Ian left this Fort Myers marina destroyed, with boats flung around and piers pulverized near a bridge to Fort Myers Beach. (Greg Lovett / The Palm Beach Post)

In this aerial view, 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.
In this aerial view, 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.

ABOVE: The causeway to Sanibel Island and the Pine Island bridge was rendered impassible and in need of structural repairs, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Thursday. In this aerial view, parts of Sanibel Causeway have washed away, along with sections of the bridge after Hurricane Ian passed through the area. (Joe Raedle, Getty Images)

After touring Charlotte and Lee counties, the governor remarked that "Sanibel is destruction" and got hit with "really Biblical storm surge."

Damage to homes on Fort Myers Beach after Hurricane Ian on September 29 2022.
Damage to homes on Fort Myers Beach after Hurricane Ian on September 29 2022.

ABOVE: Ian wreaked havoc in Fort Myers Beach, leaving homes torn apart and flooded. (Greg Lovett / The Palm Beach Post)

Floodwaters from Hurricane Ian overtook homes in several North Port neighborhoods.
Floodwaters from Hurricane Ian overtook homes in several North Port neighborhoods.

ABOVE: Even when wind damage was minimal, countless homes across the state were overrun by floodwaters such as these in North Port, leaving many people stranded and in need of rescue. (Thomas Bender / Herald-Tribune)

The city of Cape Coral showed major signs of damage after strong winds and flood waters as a result of Hurricane Ian impacted areas of the city on Thursday September 29, 2022.The city of Cape Coral showed major signs of damage after strong winds and flood waters as a result of Hurricane Ian impacted areas of the city on Thursday September 29, 2022.
The city of Cape Coral showed major signs of damage after strong winds and flood waters as a result of Hurricane Ian impacted areas of the city on Thursday September 29, 2022.The city of Cape Coral showed major signs of damage after strong winds and flood waters as a result of Hurricane Ian impacted areas of the city on Thursday September 29, 2022.

ABOVE: The city of Cape Coral showed major signs of damage after Hurricane Ian impacted areas of the city. (Ricardo Rolon / USA TODAY NETWORK-FLORIDA)

An RV park is inundated with floodwaters after Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Arcadia, Fla.
An RV park is inundated with floodwaters after Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Arcadia, Fla.

ABOVE: Several RV and mobile home parks in Ian's path were blown apart, or nearly submerged. This park in Arcadia was inundated during Ian's passage. (Crystal Vander Weit / TCPalm)

Damaged homes in Gasparilla Mobile Estates in Placida, Florida from Hurricane Ian on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022.
Damaged homes in Gasparilla Mobile Estates in Placida, Florida from Hurricane Ian on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022.

ABOVE: Ian's force swept through Gasparilla Mobile Estates in Placida. (Mike Lang, Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

This aerial photo shows damaged homes and debris in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
This aerial photo shows damaged homes and debris in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

ABOVE: Fort Myers' commercial center, marketed as one of the most iconic areas of the town, was decimated. This aerial photo shows damaged homes and debris by the coast. (Wilfredo Lee / AP)

A man takes photos of boats damaged by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Fla., on Sept.29, 2022.
A man takes photos of boats damaged by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers, Fla., on Sept.29, 2022.

ABOVE: Boats by the west coast were thrown about, crashed into each other or simply swept away by Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers. (Giorgio Viera / AFP via Getty Images)

Losses from Hurricane Ian so far range between $25 billion and $40 billion, the Fitch Ratings credit agency reported Thursday.

Support more work like this

Important local journalism like this cannot be done without your support. Please consider becoming a digital subscriber. Your subscription will help local newsrooms continue to cover important stories in our communities while also documenting ways our residents are rising to support one another.

Contributors: Jeff Burlew, Kate Cimini, Sergio Bustos, Derek Gilliam, Tallahassee Democrat

C. A. Bridges is a Digital Producer for the USA TODAY Network, working with multiple newsrooms across Florida. Local journalists work hard to keep you informed about the things you care about, and you can support them by subscribing to your local news organizationRead more articles by Chris here and follow him on Twitter at @cabridges

This article originally appeared on Fort Myers News-Press: Hurricane Ian in Florida: A path of destruction and devastation