FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — With the death toll from Hurricane Ian rising and hundreds of thousands of people without power in Florida and the Carolinas, U.S. officials on Sunday pledged a massive amount of federal disaster aid. , while crews rushed to rescue people stranded by the storm.

Days after Ian tore through central Florida, carving a deadly path of destruction in the Carolinas, water levels continued to rise in some flooded areas, flooding homes and streets that were passable just a day or two ago.

With branches scattered across the grounds of St. Hilary’s Episcopal Church in Ft. Myers, the Rev. Charles Cannon acknowledged the tremendous loss during his Sunday sermon, but also gave thanks for what remains. This includes the stained glass windows and the spire of the church.

“People think they’ve lost everything, but you haven’t lost everything until you’ve lost yourself,” he said.

Dina Criswell, the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said the federal government is ready to provide enormous assistance, focusing primarily on victims in Florida, which took the brunt of one of the strongest storms to make landfall in the United States. President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden plan to visit the state on Wednesday.

Flooded roads and washed-out bridges to barrier islands have left many people isolated with limited mobile communications and a lack of basic amenities such as water, electricity and internet. And officials warned that the situation in many areas is not expected to improve for several days because all the rain that has fallen has nowhere to go as reservoirs are overflowing.

About 750,000 Florida homes and businesses were still without power Sunday, down from a peak of 2.6 million.

Criswell told Fox News Sunday that the federal government, including the Coast Guard and the Department of Defense, has moved to “the largest amount of search and rescue equipment that I think we’ve ever used before.”

Still, recovery will take time, said Criswell, who visited the state Friday and Saturday to assess the damage and speak with survivors. She warned that the danger remains.

“We’re very concerned about the direct impacts of the storm itself as it approaches land, but we’re seeing a lot more injuries and sometimes fatalities after the storm,” Criswell said. “People need to be vigilant now. Stagnant water carries with it all sorts of dangers – it has debris in it, it can have power lines in it.”

At least 54 people have been confirmed dead: 47 in Florida, four in North Carolina and three in Cuba. The weakened storm moved north on Sunday and was expected to dump rain in parts of Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, according to the National Hurricane Center, which warned of potential flooding.

More than 1,600 people have been rescued statewide, according to the Florida Emergency Management Agency.