Hurricane Ian’s death toll has nearly doubled in one day, with 44 fatalities

By: - October 1, 2022 10:45 pm

Motorists contending with standing water in North Port, Florida. Sept. 30, 2022, (Photo by Mitch Perry.}

Saturday morning, there were 23 confirmed fatalities in six counties from Hurricane Ian’s monstrous trajectory across Florida. But by Saturday evening, the figure had nearly doubled to 44 deaths, with 30 in Lee County, where Ian had battered the southwest coast of the peninsula.

In all, there are now seven counties with fatalities due to the massive storm, according to data from Florida’s Medical Examiners Commission (MEC), which reports hurricane deaths following an autopsy and confirmation that the death is storm-related.

(Florida Department of Law Enforcement officials staff the Florida Medical Examiners Commission.)

FDLE provided the latest figures on fatalities in the seven counties, with most of the deaths on the Gulf side of Florida.

Lake – 1

Sarasota – 3

Manatee – 1

Volusia – 5

Collier – 3

Lee – 30

Hendry – 1

The Saturday evening data did not include details such as county, age, sex, circumstances, and date of death, with one exception: At 5 p.m. Saturday, the 25th death was listed as a 62-year-old female in Sarasota who drowned after being trapped in vehicle.

The Florida Phoenix earlier posted a list that provided more details.

Those details showed that most of the fatalities were older residents — in the mid to late 60s and up to the 90s, according to the data. Some deaths did not include an age. Most of the deaths were from drowning, the data show.

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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.