Hurricane Ian impacts felt underwater, as well as on land

ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Feb. 6, 2023 at 7:12 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A “Gulf talk” was scheduled Monday to go over recent changes and the impact Hurricane Ian had on Suncoast underwater landscapes. After 4 months; residents are still seeing the effects of the storm. One of the first concerns is always personal safety, but it’s important to look at how it affects the environment as well.

Many don’t realize the destruction of the underwater archeology. Many historical sites are under the water and a big storm like Ian can cause major damage to artifacts or even sites we have never seen. Archeologists are concerned about what happens on the coast and just off of it.

Picturing all the damage Hurricane Ian did to buildings and structures above ground and imagine all of that energy impacting underwater sites on the other side. Those areas can be completely swept away.

Rachael Kangas, Director For the Public Archeology Network says, “Unfortunately hurricanes can cause a lot of damage underwater so a lot of what we see is just the energy of a hurricane. The force of the water can scour a site and can uncover large parts. Really if you’re thinking of a shipwreck for example that is especially older shipwreck it can be a little bit more vulnerable. If you have a strong hurricane that comes through it can literally rip that apart.”Kangas says the best thing to do after a storm is to not touch anything. If you see something that doesn’t look right, leave the artifacts in place, and contact the Florida Public Archeology Network. They will be the ones to figure out the next steps.