Hurricane Ian impacting members and their neighbors in Florida

Missionaries in the affected areas are safe, but cleanup efforts are expected to take weeks

Hurricane Ian has left behind devastation and huge damages in Florida.

After the storm made landfall, a spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints confirmed all missionaries in the Florida Fort Lauderdale Mission and Florida Tampa Mission are safe and accounted for.

But members of the Church live in areas that are dealing with huge storm surges, flooding and power outages.

USA Today quoted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis as saying the storm caused a “500-year flooding event.” 

“The impacts of this storm are historic and the damage that has been done is historic,” DeSantis said. “We’ve never seen a flood event like this, we’ve never seen a storm surge of this magnitude.”

A Coast Guard helicopter flies over damaged homes and buildings in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, on Sanibel Island, Fla. | Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press

Coast Guard helicopters rescued trapped residents from the roofs of homes. Boats went through deeply flooded streets that had turned into canals to reach stranded families. 

A Facebook post from the Cocoa Florida Stake said with the passing of the storm, they would begin preparations for cleanup — and would use ward emergency preparedness leaders in addressing the needs of ward members and individuals within the ward boundaries.

This GOES-16 satellite image taken at 1:01 p.m. EDT and provided by NOAA shows Hurricane Ian over the South Carolina coast, Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. | NOAA via Associated Press

They plan to begin work early Saturday morning, Oct. 1 — before the first session of general conference begins at noon Eastern time — in their own neighborhoods and with plans to work there and in other parts of the state for several weekends to come.

Volunteer work crews planned to help in areas that were severely impacted by the storm.

Damaged boats lie on the land and water in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Fla. | Wilfredo Lee, Associated Press
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