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Hundreds of Deaths Have Been Recorded in Florida as a Result of Hurricane Ian, With Four People Killed in North Carolina

According to local officials, Hurricane Ian has killed at least 72 people in Florida. The hurricane also claimed the lives of four people in North Carolina, according to the governor’s office. The Category 4 storm made landfall on Florida’s southwest coast Wednesday afternoon, wreaking havoc with catastrophic damage, high winds, and hazardous, record-breaking storm surges.

For those who did not evacuate during Hurricane, Harvey Ian describes the experience of riding out a storm. ABC News discovered 35 deaths in Lee County, 23 in Charlotte County, five in Volusia County, three each in Collier and Sarasota counties, and one each in Lake, Hendry, and Manatee counties, based on information from the Florida Medical Examiners Commission and inquiries with local officials and authorities.

The death toll from the disastrous storm has been growing as search and rescue activities continue. Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno claimed Saturday that up to 700 people had been rescued in the devastated county, however, 35 people had died as a result of the storm.

“I express that figure with a heavy heart,” Marceno, whose county includes hard-hit Fort Myers and the barrier island Sanibel, said in a Facebook video. Damaged homes and trash in Fort Myers, Fla., after Hurricane Ian, Sept. 29, 2022.

According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Ian is responsible for ten verified deaths. Drownings were the leading cause of death, followed by two car accidents and a roofing accident. The Medical Examiners Commission stated that the number does not include any fatalities from hard-hit Lee or Charlotte counties.

Hundreds of Deaths Have Been Recorded in Florida

It’s unclear whether the state statistic corresponds to ABC News’ research. The state certifies fatalities by reviewing medical examiner records, a process that can take months. According to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the confirmed deaths occurred between September 27 and 30 in Lake, Sarasota, Manatee, Volusia, and Collier counties. The victims’ ages ranged from 22 to 91. On Sept. 29, a 68-year-old lady perished after being dragged into the water by a wave, according to the agency.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office was one of the first to publicly report Ian’s death. According to the office, a 72-year-old man died in Deltona after attempting to drain his pool during the storm. The individual, who has not been identified publicly, “disappeared” after going outside, according to the sheriff’s office. Deputies discovered him unresponsive in a canal behind the house, and he was confirmed dead at a nearby hospital, according to the sheriff’s office.

 A police truck travels down a flooded street in Charleston, South Carolina, on September 30, 2022, as rain from Hurricane Ian drenches the city. The storm made another impact in South Carolina on Friday, causing no deaths so far, according to Gov. Henry McMaster on Saturday.

Though four storm-related deaths have been confirmed in neighboring North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement Saturday. On Friday, three car accidents occurred, with victims ranging in age from 22 to 25. In addition, a 65-year-old man died of carbon monoxide poisoning on Saturday after operating a generator in his locked garage while the electricity was off.

As the storm pummelled Florida with severe winds and heavy rain on Wednesday, emergency response was largely suspended. On Thursday, search and rescue operations were ongoing around the state. Rep. Kathy Castor of Florida, who represents the Tampa Bay area, described the situation as a “huge tragedy.”

“I’m worried we’re going to have a higher loss of life than we anticipated,” she warned Thursday on “ABC News Live.”Florida Senator Rick Scott told “Good Morning America” on Thursday that “thousands of rescue efforts are underway right now.”

“We have excellent sheriff’s offices, police agencies, fire departments, and state rescue teams. They’re putting in long hours. However, there are many people who require assistance right now “He stated. He was concerned about the state’s many low-lying areas.

“The water kills, and I’m really terrified of what’s happening here, and I hope everyone stays safe,” he said. On Thursday morning, President Joe Biden called Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, informing him that FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell will visit Florida on Friday to assess response activities.

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