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At least twenty one Floridians are dead after Hurricane Ian

Homes that sustained wind damage caused by Hurricane Ian are seen in this aerial view, Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/Marta Lavandier)

The storm tore through the state after making landfall in South Florida as a Cat 4 hurricane.

Florida Department of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie says so far 21 people have possibly died as a result of Hurricane Ian.

Guthrie says one of those fatalities is in Central Florida.

“We have one confirmed fatality in Polk County. We have 12 unconfirmed fatalities in Charlotte County. We have eight unconfirmed fatalities in Collier County. And we are still processing through the situation with the hasty search that I mentioned before in Lee County.” 

Holly Nugyn walks out of her flooded neighborhood after Hurricane Ian passed by the area Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

Guthrie says the Lee County situation is an especially tragic one and one that will probably be repeated throughout the state.

“The water was up over the rooftop but we had a Coast Guard Rescue swimmer swim down into it, but he could identify that there appeared to be human remains.”

Guthrie says his team will be able to go in after the water recedes, to confirm what exactly happened and how many people were impacted. 

He warned people to avoid driving in flooded areas or clearing trees where downed power lines might be present. He says accidental drowning, electrocution and carbon monoxide poisoning are common after hurricanes.

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Danielle Prieur

About Danielle Prieur

Reporter & Fill-in Host

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan and is a graduate of both the ... Read Full Bio »