Aerial cameras provide a haunting view of Hurricane Ian’s damage | USA TODAY

The state of Florida suffered unprecedented damage from from Hurricane Ian. Aerial cameras offer a look at the scale of the damage.

RELATED: Fort Myers resident survived rising floodwaters during Hurricane Ian

Researchers who study flooding, development and climate change were horrified by the emerging images but not surprised. For years, they have warned that sprawling development in Florida and other coastal states wasn't sustainable, especially with the warming climate supercharging hurricane rainfall.

"This is kind of what we had expected for days in advance, and it's still heartbreaking to see so many people stranded," said Kevin Reed, associate professor in atmospheric science at Stony Brook University in New York.

He and other experts said they expect Ian's devastation to lead to a push for Florida to do more to protect residents from flooding as the warming climate makes natural disasters and rainfall more extreme.

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