Combined death toll from Hurricane Ian surpasses 100 in Florida, North Carolina

At least 103 people have died in Florida alone

ByMeredith Deliso and Mary Kekatos via ABCNews logo
Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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Hurricane Ian's death toll continues to rise as search and rescue missions continue. The primary cause of death in Florida is drowning. Jim Dolan has the latest details.

At least 103 people in Florida have died due to Hurricane Ian, according to local officials.

Five additional people were also reported dead due to the storm in North Carolina, according to the governor's office.

The Category 4 storm slammed into Florida's southwest coast Wednesday afternoon, causing catastrophic damage, fierce winds and dangerous, record-breaking storm surges.

Deaths from Hurricane Ian reported in Florida

The deaths span multiple counties in Florida, including 55 in Lee County, 24 in Charlotte County, five each in Volusia and Collier counties, four in Sarasota County, three in Manatee County, two in Polk County, and one each in Hardee, Hillsborough, Lake Hendry and Martin counties, ABC News has determined based on information from the Florida Medical Examiners Commission and inquiries with local officials and authorities.

Hurricane Ian's death toll has been rising amid ongoing search and rescue missions.

The causes of the deaths in Florida were primarily drownings, as well as two vehicle accidents and a roofing accident, officials said.

It is unclear whether the state's figure overlaps with ABC News' analysis. The state confirms deaths by reviewing medical examiner records, which can take some time.

Confirmed deaths from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement occurred in Lake, Sarasota, Manatee, Volusia and Collier counties between Sept. 27 and 30. The victims ranged in age from 22 to 91. One, a 68-year-old woman, drowned after being swept into the ocean by a wave on Sept. 29, the department said.

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office was among the first to publicly announce a fatality from Ian. A 72-year-old man in Deltona died after attempting to drain his pool during the storm, the office said Thursday.

The man, who was not publicly identified, "disappeared" after heading outside, the sheriff's office said. Deputies found him unresponsive in a canal behind the home and he was pronounced dead at a local hospital, the sheriff's office said.

Deaths from Hurricane Ian reported in North Carolina

The storm made landfall again on Friday in South Carolina, which has reported no deaths due to the storm so far, Gov. Henry McMaster said Saturday.

Though in neighboring North Carolina, five storm-related deaths have been reported. In a statement Saturday, Gov. Roy Cooper said three involved vehicle accidents on Friday, with the victims ranging in age from 22 to 25. Additionally, a 65-year-old man died Saturday from carbon monoxide poisoning after running a generator in his closed garage while the power was out. The manner of the fifth death is unclear.

Hurricane damage across the Southeast, as rescue efforts continue

Florida Rep. Kathy Castor, who represents the Tampa Bay area, called the situation a "major catastrophe."

"I'm afraid we're going to be dealing with a larger loss of life than we anticipated," she said on "ABC News Live" Thursday.

Florida Sen. Rick Scott told "Good Morning America" Thursday morning there were "thousands of rescue efforts going on right now."

"We've got great sheriff's departments, police departments, fire departments, state rescue teams. They're working hard. But there's a lot of people that need help right now," he said.

He expressed concern for the state's many low-lying areas.

"The water kills and I'm just -- I'm scared to death of, you know, what's happened here and I hope everybody stays safe," he said.

Sheriff Marceno told "Good Morning America" Thursday they had thousands of 911 calls they were answering.

"We still cannot access many of the people that are in need," Marceno said. "It's a real, real rough road ahead."

ABC News' Jay O'Brien, Ahmad Hemmingway, Benjamin Stein and Will Gretsky contributed to this report.

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