Southwest Florida residents returned Thursday to get their first look at the damage to their homes Hurricane Janas the storm’s death toll continued to rise and details of casualties emerged.

Residents of Sanibel, Captiva and Pine Island were among the first to see the scene after authorities, still searching for survivors of the Sept. 28 storm, gave civilians the go-ahead to return.

A steady stream of residents arrived, mostly on small chartered motorboats, after sections of the Sanibel and Pine Island levees, the only road links to the mainland, were washed away by 150 mph winds and a storm surge of 12 feet (3.6 meter).

“We feel as a community that if we leave the island, leave it, nobody is going to care about this problem of repairing our road in and out,” said Pine Island resident Leslie Arias.

The Florida the medical examiner has published detailed information on how many people died.

officially, 89 people died in Florida from the storm, according to the state’s Department of Law Enforcement. But the number will grow: according to unofficial media data, there are already more than 120 of them.

That makes it the deadliest storm to hit Florida since the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, which claimed more than 430 lives.

Jan’s oldest victim was a 96-year-old man who was found trapped under a car in high water in Charlotte County, according to a medical examiner’s report.

A 73-year-old man in Lee County “shot himself to death after seeing property damage from the hurricane.”

In Manatee County, a 71-year-old woman died after being blown over: “The deceased was outside her home smoking a cigarette when a gust of hurricane force winds blew her off her porch and she hit her head on a concrete step.”

Most of the victims drowned, emphasizing that the storm surge was the deadliest part of the hurricane.

The report did not include five deaths in North Carolina, one in Virginia and three in Cuba as Ian swept across the island’s west two days before gathering strength in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico and slamming into the southwest Florida coast.

Florida authorities have been criticized for issuing evacuation orders too late, though Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and county officials have defended their actions.

DeSantis claimed, falsely, that Lee County had not yet been included in the National Hurricane Center’s (NHC) forecast 72 hours before the storm, and that it was instead predicted to make landfall in Tampa, about 120 miles to the north.

The NHC’s “cone of uncertainty” included parts of Lee County during that time period, including Cayo Costa, where Ian first made landfall.

More than 215,000 customers were without power in Florida, authorities said, while thousands of workers tried to repair grids.

On Pine Island, piles of rubble and debris replaced many homes, power lines and wooden poles that littered yards and roads.

U visiting the most affected areas On Thursday, Joe Biden promised that federal government resources would be available “as much as needed.” According to some estimates, the damage amounted to 55 billion dollars.

The president met with local residents, small business owners and relief workers in Fort Myers, praising the cooperation between state and federal agencies.

Noting that recovery could take months or years, he said: “The one thing I can assure you is that the federal government will be here until this is over. After the TV cameras have moved on, we’ll still be here with you.”

DeSantis, who is seen as a potential challenger to Biden in the 2024 presidential election, also struck a conciliatory tone.

“We’re cutting red tape, and that’s from local government, state government, all the way to the president. We appreciate the work of the team,” he said.