54 deaths from Hurricane Ian reported as recovery efforts continue


TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The number of deaths following Hurricane Ian’s rampage in Florida continued to rise over the weekend.

On Saturday evening, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement announced there have been 47 deaths attributed to the hurricane so far — mostly from drowning.

The Associated Press reported that an additional four people in North Carolina and three in Cuba were also killed by the storm, bringing the death toll to 54.

Among those killed were a 62-year-old woman who was hurt and drowned after a tree fell on her mobile home, a 54-year-old man who drowned after being trapped in a window, and a Lee County woman whose body was found tangled in wires under a home.

A 71-year-old man also died after falling off his roof while installing rain shutters Wednesday.

Another death was also reported in the Tampa Bay area after a 22-year-old woman died in an ATV crash caused by a road washout in Manatee County.

FDEM Director Kevin Guthrie said there was also a case of human remains found in an underwater home in Lee County.

“We do not know exactly how many were in the house,” he said Friday. “The water was up over the rooftop.”

More deaths are expected to be discovered as floodwaters recede. According to Guthrie, the death toll may also go down at some points, because deaths can later be attributed to be non-storm-related causes. That’s why the totals are expected to change as information goes in.

“People die in disasters that have nothing to do with the disaster,” he said. “The medical examiner is the one that makes that determination.”

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