ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Many people across the southwestern Florida region felt the severe impacts of Hurricane Ian in Florida as they suffered storm surges, high winds, and sadly to some, even death.
The Medical Examiners Commission confirmed that there are now 44 deaths in Florida relating to the impacts of Hurricane Ian, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said in a news release Saturday.
In the Tampa Bay region, there are three deaths reported in Sarasota County and one death in Manatee County, according to FDLE.
The highest amount of deaths confirmed was in Lee County as 30 people were reported to have lost their life due to the storm, authorities say. Cities that were heavily impacted by the hurricane within the county include Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Sanibel Island.
Naples, located in Collier County, was another city that received major structural damage to its buildings and homes. There were a total of three reported deaths in the county, FDLE said.
There were also reportedly five deaths in Volusia County, one in Lake County and one in Hendry County.
MEC confirmed the number of deaths after receiving autopsy reports from the Florida District Medical Examiners, the news release mentioned.
The FDLE said they cannot confirm if the deaths reported in each county were of people who lived in those areas.
Below is the number of deaths reported in each county, according to authorities:
- Collier County - 3 deaths confirmed
- Hendry County - 1 death confirmed
- Lake County - 1 death confirmed
- Lee County - 30 deaths confirmed
- Manatee County - 1 death confirmed
- Sarasota County - 3 deaths confirmed
- Volusia County - 5 deaths confirmed
FDLE said additional updates will be provided as soon as they are available.
Hurricane Ian tore through southwest Florida on Wednesday leaving behind flooded neighborhoods and mass destruction.
The storm caused catastrophic storm surge, winds and flooding over the Florida peninsula as it made landfall, the National Hurricane Center said.
If you know someone that is still trapped in their homes because of the storm, Florida Disaster has a way to help locate them as quickly as possible.
Head to missing.fl.gov/es where you can fill out a form with the last known locations of the person you know that needs assistance.
If you have found someone and that person is safe, Florida Disaster also has a form to report a safe person. Click here to access it.
Florida homeowners and renters in Hillsborough, Manatee, Pinellas, Sarasota, Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto and Hardee counties impacted by Hurricane Ian can apply for disaster assistance.
To apply, people can use the FEMA app on their phones, go to disasterassistance.gov or call 800-621-3362 anytime between 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.