After hitting Florida, Hurricane Ian headed toward South Carolina

Houses damaged by Hurricane Ian are seen on the beach in Fort Myers on Sept. 29. (Greg Lovett/USA TODAY NETWORK)

The beach town of Fort Myers on Florida’s southwest coast was leveled by Hurricane Ian, a local politician said late Thursday.

“I made it through two-thirds of the island, and I’d say 90% of the island is almost gone,” Fort Myers Beach Town Councilman Dan Allers tells CNN’s Dan Lemon. “If you have a high-rise condo or a new concrete home that isn’t built to the same standards as today, your home is pretty much gone.”

city, with population About 5,600 people Located on Estero Island in the Gulf of Mexico.

Many people struggled to get to higher ground amid the storm surge, Allers said.

“I’ve heard stories of people climbing into freezers and floating the freezer to another house … and being rescued by higher-ups,” Allers said.

The council member said that instead of where the houses stood, there were only ruins.

“Every house on the beach is gone,” Allers said. “Some of the houses in the side streets are completely gone, nothing but a hole with water,” he said.

Allers fled to higher ground during the storm and later discovered his own home was lost.

“Everything inside is gone,” he said, although the structure survived. “We can rebuild,” he said.

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