Florida man swims half a mile to save mum trapped in wheelchair from floodwaters

ITV News US correspondent Robert Moore reports on the extraordinary rescue of a woman who became trapped in floodwater in Florida

A man has described swimming through Florida's streets to save his mother after she became trapped in rising floodwaters.

Johnny Lauder swam around half a mile through chest-high waters to reach the home where his mother was trapped.

Storm Ian wreaked havoc in the city of Naples last week, leaving many of its buildings almost underwater.

But Mr Lauder's 84-year-old mother had refused to evacuate, and became trapped in her home amid rising water levels.

84-year-old Karen was later rescued.

She made a call to him last Wednesday, as water entered her home and began rising rapidly.

The former Chicago police officer rushed to save her, taking photos and videos as he swam for around 45 minutes through the streets, documenting the devastation the storm had left in its wake.

In the footage, Mr Lauder's mother, Karen, can be seen with the water reaching above her chest. He lifted her onto a table in her house, before they were both rescued.

"She basically lost everything," he said.

"I live closer to the water so I know everything's gone as well."

President Biden met local people in Florida on Wednesday. Credit: AP

Around 100 people died and thousands of homes were damaged during last week's storms.

The island of Puerto Rico was also badly hit, and US President Joe Biden visited on Monday, promising immediate aid.

Biden visited Florida on Wednesday, where he met residents uprooted from their homes following the storm.

“Today we have one job and only one job, and that’s to make sure the people in Florida get everything they need to fully, thoroughly recover,” he said, warning that rebuilding efforts could last for years.

“It’s going to take a hell of a long time, hopefully without any snags in the way," he added.

“Later, after the television cameras have moved on, we’re still going to be here with you.”