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More than 100 people have been confirmed dead in Florida as search and rescue crews continue their efforts following Hurricane Ian.
As of Tuesday, at least 102 people were reported as killed by the hurricane in Florida, with 55 in Lee County, according to CNN.
“When you are walking around the ruins, it’s an apocalyptic scene,” Fort Myers Beach City Councilman Bill Veach told CNN. “You see a friend that you weren’t sure was alive or dead and that brings you joy. A joy that is so much more than the loss of property.”
Despite the tragic loss of life, the governor’s office has reported over 1,900 rescues as of Monday’s update by Governor Ron DeSantis (R). Many of the rescues included residents of Sanibel and Captiva Islands off the coast of Fort Myers involving residents who did not evacuate as the only bridge to the mainland was partially destroyed during the hurricane.
Tens of thousands of properties have been checked since the hurricane swept through central Florida, with over 45,000 properties noted in a Monday update.
“We’ve been to about every address. We believe that we have searched everything very quickly. Now we are going back for a second look,” Kevin Guthrie, director of Florida’s emergency management, said on Monday.
“I am not saying we are not going to find anybody else. We may find other people,” he added.
Governor DeSantis Delivers an Update on Hurricane Ian in Cape Coral https://t.co/bghYBOWe6P
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) October 3, 2022
Over 2.5 million Florida homes were without power due to the hurricane. As of Tuesday, about 391,000 homes and businesses remained without power. All customers who can receive power to their homes hoping to have electricity returned by Sunday, according to Deanne Criswell, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Schools in 13 counties remained closed as of Monday. Officials expect to return to classrooms in all counties by the end of the week.
In addition to numerous deaths in Florida, four deaths were reported in North Carolina on Monday.
“The storm has passed, but many hazards remain with downed trees, downed power lines and power outages,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper (D) shared in a statement on Monday. “We mourn with the families of those who have died and urge everyone to be cautious while cleaning up to avoid more deaths or injuries.”
The statement noted that the four deaths included two separate vehicle accidents related to Ian in Johnston County on Friday. Additionally, a 22-year-old in Martin County died Friday in a vehicle incident that led to drowning, while a 65-year-old in Johnston County died on Saturday after a generator was left running in a closed garage.
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden are expected to visit Florida on Wednesday to meet with state leaders and those impacted by Hurricane Ian.