Florida authorities have linked nearly 100 deaths in 10 counties to Hurricane Ian, with more than half in Lee County, where storm surges reached 10 feet destroyed houses and destroyed the only bridges who are in contact with the people of the barrier islands on the mainland.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marcheno on Monday afternoon announced that the death toll had risen to 54, up from 42 the day before. State confirmed the reasons of Lee County’s 12 deaths so far, all but one have been drownings.

“We have not seen such destruction before. We’re standing 60 yards from a 100-foot boat that was thrown into a vehicle and the mangroves are like nothing,” Marcheno said at a news conference Monday. “As sheriffs, we like to push the button and fix what’s wrong. Unfortunately, I can’t do that. I can’t put into words to bring back my loved ones.”

The state’s second-highest death toll is in Charlotte County, where the sheriff’s office confirmed 24 storm-related deaths. The causes of these deaths have not yet been released.

The current death toll from Hurricane Ian in Florida is between 95 and 101, according to information provided by the state Medical Examiner’s Office, county sheriffs and Emergency Department. Here is the county-by-county information provided by the authorities:

Deaths by district

  • Lee County: 54 confirmed by Lee County Sheriff
  • Charlotte County: 24 confirmed by the Charlotte County Sheriff
  • Collier County: from three to eight. Kevin Guthrie, director of the Florida Department of Emergency Management, announced the eight deaths in Collier County on Friday but said they were not confirmed. So far, the Florida Medical Examiner has confirmed three deaths in Collier County.
  • Volussky District: five, according to the expert medical commission
  • Sarasota: four, according to information from the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office and the Medical Examiner’s Office.
  • Manatee County: two, according to the expert medical commission
  • Hendry County: one, according to the expert medical commission
  • Hillsborough County: one, according to the expert medical commission
  • Lake District: one, according to the expert medical commission
  • Polk County: one confirmed by Guthrie

This story was originally published October 3, 2022 at 5:03 p.m.

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