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How many people died in Florida during Hurricane Ian?

Most of the deaths from Hurricane Ian were due to drowning, according to official tallies of fatalities from a storm that has killed at least 70 people, officials said.

Officially, 25 deaths have been linked to Hurricane Ian, according to reports from the coroner’s offices, but authorities are reporting many more deaths in the hardest-hit areas.

Combining counts from the Florida Medical Examiners Commission (MEC) with other deaths reported by the sheriff’s offices on Saturday, Hurricane Ian has killed 71 people in Florida.

The death toll is likely to rise in the coming days. Rescuers have also been unable to reach all areas affected by Ian, with an unknown number of people still missing from the storm.

READ MORE: Search for survivors at Ian’s Ground Zero, Fort Myers Beach. It doesn’t always end well

On Saturday, the Lee County Sheriff announced 35 deaths from Hurricane Ian in that hard-hit jurisdiction alone, nearly triple the official count for Lee released the same day by the Florida MEC.

“It is with a heavy heart that I say that number,” Police Chief Carmine Marceno said in a video post on Facebook.

Lee County accounts for half of Ian’s deaths counted by medical examiners’ offices throughout Florida. Those reports show that flood waters were the biggest danger from the storm. Of the 25 official fatalities listed in those reports, all but five list drowning as the cause of death.

Those official death reports included an 87-year-old man found Friday in a submerged car in Lee County. He also suffered injuries from the impact. On Friday, a 61-year-old man was found sprawled on a bench in Lee as well, with drowning listed as the cause of death.

In Sarasota County, a 62-year-old woman was found dead Friday after becoming trapped in a car, with drowning listed as the cause of death.

Here are some of the latest reports related to fatalities from Hurricane Ian:

Lee County

The 35 fatalities announced by Police Chief Marceno on Saturday represent the highest number of deaths from Hurricane Ian in any county in Florida. Lee also leads the official tally from MEC, which has confirmed 12 deaths linked to Ian.

Gov. Ron DeSantis called Lee “ground zero” for the destruction of the Ian, given severe flooding in an area that includes the islands of Ft. Myers Beach and Sanibel.

Charlotte County

Ian made landfall in Charlotte, a county that includes Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte. So far, Charlotte hasn’t shown up on medical examiners’ fatality reports. Charlotte County Police on Saturday reported 23 deaths “directly or indirectly” related to Ian, spokeswoman Claudette Smith said.

“We cannot confirm the cause of death,” Smith said, adding that that will be determined by the medical examiner.

Volusia County

Facing the Atlantic Ocean on Florida’s east coast, Volusia County had five drownings related to Ian as of Saturday, according to the medical examiner’s report. Flooding from the rain affected the county, where Daytona Beach is located.

Other Florida counties

Collier County reported three drownings from the Ian. Sarasota County reported one person drowning while trapped in a vehicle, as well as two Ian fatalities related to a roofing accident and someone who collapsed in a bathroom during the storm and died of natural causes. . Lake and Manatee counties reported deaths from Ian related to car accidents during the storm.

This story was originally published on October 2, 2022 0:12 pm.

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