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Virginia Task Force 2 searching for Hurricane Ian survivors along the coast of Florida

Task Force Leader Brian Sullivan says they're seeing a lot of wind damage and power outages in the Charlotte County area of Florida.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The damage in Florida is catastrophic. 

President Joe Biden said Hurricane Ian may be responsible for “substantial loss of life.”

According to initial reports, at least nine people have died. Most of those deaths are in Charlotte County. 

That's where Virginia Task Force 2 spent the day searching for survivors. 

RELATED: 'Ready to go' | Virginia Task Force 2 on standby as Hurricane Ian wreaks havoc on Florida

Task Force Leader Brian Sullivan and the rest of the Virginia Beach-based team were on standby in south Florida. On Thursday, they got their assignment.

They spent the day searching along the coast in the Punta Gorda area.

"We’re seeing a lot of wind damage, a lot of power outages, a lot of utility outages," he said.

13News Now was able to get an update from Sullivan as they were wrapping up day one, despite scarce cell service in the area.

"We expected some more water damage, but we’re not seeing much of the water where we’re at."

Task Force 2 initially went down with 45 team members, but on Thursday morning, 35 more hit the road to meet them.

Sullivan said at this point, he’s not sure how long they’ll be there.

"We’ll be back here tomorrow and go from there," he said. "We appreciate you guys thinking about us and everybody thinking about us back at home."

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