Energy & Environment

21 deaths reported from Hurricane Ian, Florida Division of Emergency Management says

First responders with Orange County Fire Rescue use an inflatable boat to rescue a resident from a home in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Orlando, Fla. Climate change added at least 10% more rain to Hurricane Ian, a study prepared immediately after the storm shows. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

The director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management said on Friday that there have been 21 deaths reported so far in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, as search and rescue efforts continue.

The only confirmed death thus far is in Polk County in central Florida, Florida Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said at a press briefing on Friday morning. 

Another 12 unconfirmed deaths have been reported in Charlotte County, just north of Fort Meyers, and eight unconfirmed deaths have been reported in Collier County, south of Fort Meyers, according to Guthrie.

Guthrie said they are still evaluating the situation in Lee County, which encompasses the hard-hit Fort Meyers, and do not yet have a death toll.

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Cayo Costa near Fort Meyers on Wednesday as a Category 4 hurricane, devastating the area with heavy rainfall, forceful winds and massive storm surges. Ian is now moving north and is poised to make landfall in South Carolina on Friday afternoon.

Tags Cayo Costa Florida Division of Emergency Management Fort Myers Hurricane Ian hurricanes Kevin Guthrie South Carolina

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