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A volunteer for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Venice, Fla., greeted a survivor of Hurricane Ian Oct. 5 at a Catholic Charities site in Bonita Springs, where staff and volunteers operate a drive-up emergency food and water distribution.
A volunteer for Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Venice, Fla., greeted a survivor of Hurricane Ian Oct. 5 at a Catholic Charities site in Bonita Springs, where staff and volunteers operate a drive-up emergency food and water distribution.
Photo Credit: Tom Tracy | Catholic News Service

Hurricane Ian affecting jobs, housing for many throughout Florida

Hurricane Julia also made landfall in Central America Oct. 9, dumping large amounts of rain

MIAMI — The full picture of the widespread fallout and damages Hurricane Ian brought to southwest Florida is still coming into focus. From Naples up throughout the greater Fort Myers, Port Charlotte and Sarasota region, many residents and parish communities are facing a challenging close to 2022.

The post-Hurricane Ian landscape is expected to trigger housing, employment and other cost-of-living complications for the entire state and in particular on the Gulf Coast.

Lee County, which also includes Fort Myers Beach, Pine Island and Sanibel, suffered most of the 119 fatalities related to Hurricane Ian, which made landfall on the state’s west coast as a Category 4 storm Sept. 28.

Eddie Gloria, Venice Catholic Charities CEO, has said the easiest way to understand where the damage is greatest is in terms of the central corridor of Fort Myers and Lee County along with dispersed pockets of rural communities throughout the greater 10-county diocese. These areas suffered flooding as river waters spilled over into neighboring housing.

Clara Alvarez, program manager for education programs for Catholic Charities in Arcadia, said Hurricane Ian temporarily cut her off from accessing her brother who lives on the other side of the nearby Peace River.

In Bonita Springs, Catholic Charities staff had a full-time disaster recovery and drive-up distribution operation in full swing.

More than two dozen reported dead after Julia lashes Central America

WASHINGTON — Authorities in Central America feared the number of dead would increase after the weather system known as Julia left much of the region buried in mud or flooded.

Five members of the armed forces of El Salvador are part of 28 reported fatalities related to Julia as of early Oct. 11, but the death toll is expected to rise.

The country’s secretary of environment said late Oct. 10 that El Salvador had received the equivalent of about 15% of its annual rainfall in one day.

Catholic churches there opened their doors to those seeking shelter from the storm.

Nicaragua, where Julia made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane Oct. 9, reported one death, though many doubt the government’s account. The online news site Divergentes said reports from social media document at least two deaths.

Authorities in El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico, however, reported widespread mudslides, flash floods, overflowed rivers and thousands in shelters awaiting the system to dissipate as it travels north. Guatemala reported destroyed homes as well as roads and bridges washed away by Julia as authorities scrambled to look for people trapped under fallen trees and structures.

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