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Hurricane Ian Death Toll At 56 In Florida—Will Likely Climb Higher

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Topline

The death toll from Hurricane Ian surpassed 50 in Florida on Saturday after Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno confirmed an additional 14 deaths in his storm-ravaged southwestern Florida community, as search and rescue efforts remain ongoing.

Key Facts

At least 35 people were killed in Lee County, Marceno said, which brings the confirmed state total to 56.

Lee County includes the communities of Fort Myers and Sanibel, which took near direct hits from Ian as the Category 4 storm made landfall with 155 mph sustained winds Wednesday.

Four deaths have been confirmed in both Volusia and Sarasota counties, along with three in Collier County, one in Lake County, one in Manatee County and one in Polk County, according to a Miami Herald count, citing local officials.

Charlotte County Commissioner Christopher Constance said seven deaths have been confirmed in his county, the home of Punta Gorda.

Key Background

No official death count has been released so far from state or federal officials but President Joe Biden warned Thursday the storm could end up being the “deadliest hurricane in Florida history.” Post-storm images from communities near where the hurricane made landfall show complete devastation, especially around Fort Myers and Sanibel, where coastal roads are washed out and a causeway connecting Sanibel Island to the mainland has been partially destroyed. Marceno suggested earlier this week that the death toll in Lee County could be “hundreds” but Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) pushed back, saying numbers are not clear at this point.

Tangent

Ian made a second U.S. landfall Friday afternoon in South Carolina after emerging over the Atlantic Ocean, where it restrengthened into a Category 1 hurricane. Ian’s remnants are now centered over North Carolina.

Further Reading

Hurricane Ian Could Be One Of Florida’s Deadliest Storms In Years—But Historic Storms Were Far Deadlier (Forbes)

Hurricane Ian Makes Second U.S. Landfall In South Carolina (Forbes)

Hurricane Ian death toll may have surpassed 50. Here’s what we know so far (Miami Herald)

Hurricane Ian: These Are The Florida Areas Hardest Hit By The Category 4 Storm (Forbes)



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