TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As recovery and relief efforts pressed on Monday following Hurricane Ian’s devastating landfall in southwest Florida last week, state medical examiners provided an update on Florida’s hurricane-related death toll.
State officials continued to revise the death toll upward throughout the weekend adding additional storm-related deaths in a Monday evening report.
So far, officials said there were 68 deaths attributed to Hurricane Ian confirmed by the MEC from the following counties:
- Charlotte – 2
- Collier – 4
- Hardee – 1
- Hendry – 1
- Hillsborough – 1
- Lake – 1
- Lee – 45
- Manatee – 3
- Polk – 2 Sarasota – 3
- Volusia – 5
More deaths are expected in the coming days.
While search and rescue operations continue in the most remote affected areas of the state, thousands of utility workers continue to patch Florida’s battered electrical grid as many are still left without power. On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said over 95% of Floridians who lost access to electricity during the storm have already had their power restored.
However, thousands living in Charlotte, Lee, DeSoto, Hardee, southern Sarasota, and Collier Counties are still left without power.
“Now it’s time to bring all the resources to help everyone here,” DeSantis said standing in front of the ravaged Cape Coral Pier in Lee County.
The governor said his focus is shifting to restoring vital roads and bridges that were washed away by powerful flood surges.
The governor said FDOT trucks will begin surveying the damage to bridges connecting Pine Island and Sanibel Island to the mainland. DeSantis said he hopes FDOT will have a temporary bridge in place by the end of the week to connect residents on Pine Island with a reliable transportation option off the island.
FDOT is also in the planning stages to construct a temporary bridge to reconnect Sanibel Island. No expected timeline was announced.