TikTokers are sharing footage of widespread damage and destruction in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian

Three screenshots of damage from the hurricane.
The hashtag #HurricaneIan has 1.1 billion TikTok views.Screenshots from TikTok
  • Hurricane Ian made landfall in Florida on Wednesday after passing through Cuba.

  • Though people were urged to leave their homes, some chose to stay and film the storm.

  • Videos on TikTok of Hurricane Ian and the damage its caused have received millions of views.

Floridians have taken to TikTok to share footage of them dealing with the effects and aftermath of Hurricane Ian after it made landfall in the state on Wednesday.

Though authorities urged residents in counties susceptible to floods to evacuate, many refused to leave or were unable to leave, and some filmed their experiences with the Category 4 storm.

People shared videos of themselves preparing their homes and properties for the storm and the hashtag #HurricaneIan now has over 1.1 billion views.

One woman living on a farm in southwest Florida showed the level of flooding prior to the day the hurricane was due to hit and filmed herself prepping her animals for the storm. Her video went viral and received 12.2 million views, with commenters wishing her "good luck" and thanking her for taking good care of the animals.

@stephaniemorattoofficial When hurricane ian is headed straight for your farm! 🙃 #hurricane #hurricaneian #hurricaneian2022 ♬ Chill Vibes - Tollan Kim

The St. Augustine Zoo, located in northeast Florida, shared a video of staff putting a stork in a bathroom to keep it safe from the winds, which has been viewed 4.3 million times.

One woman living in Key West, Florida, near the southernmost point in the US, captured the flooded streets and crashing waves. The video has been viewed more than 4.6 million times.

"You could tell that the situation was deteriorating pretty quickly, so you know, I was ready to go at this point," she said, adding, "It was just insane to see how flooded the streets were."

Commenters said they were concerned for the women's safety, with many telling her to "stay safe." One person added, "pls go home this is dangerous."

@livinginkeywest Ian is making his presence known at the Southernmost Point. We decided to venture out before conditions deteriorate much more and judging by the flooding and waves we went out just in time. It’s wild to see how angry the ocean is from a hurricane that is so far off the coast. Storm surge is scary and real! Flooding happens quickly. If you’re in the path of Hurricane Ian be prepared. Mother Nature is powerful beyond words! #hurricaneian #keywest #southernmostpoint #hurricaneseason2022 #keywesttravel #floridakeys #floridakeyslife #hurricaneseason2022 ♬ Lo-fi hip hop - NAO-K

Despite the obvious dangers, many TikTokers risked their lives to chronicle the storm.

NBC News reporter Kat Tenbarge captured the moment during a TikTok live when user @officialchroniclife told viewers "we are in pretty serious trouble, guys," while filming rising water in front of her home.

 

 

As the storm continued, TikTokers began sharing footage of the aftermath, including flooded cars and destroyed fences.

Another Key West resident shared a video of the streets after flooding began to subside, showing fallen trees and destroyed shop fronts. 

"It's a sad morning here in Key West," she wrote.

The storm was expected to spark intense flooding and cause a "catastrophic storm surge," Insider previously reported. Before reaching Florida, it passed through Cuba where it caused an island-wide blackout and led to the deaths of two people.

On Wednesday, Insider reported that Hurricane Ian has brought with it winds of 155mph and water up to 12 feet high in some areas of Florida, though it has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.

According to PowerOutage.us, an estimated 2.2 million Floridians are currently without power, though the full extent of the damage and destruction caused by the hurricane likely won't be known for days. On Thursday, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno told "Good Morning America" fatalities from the storm were "in the hundreds."

For more stories like this, check out coverage from Insider's Digital Culture team here.

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