There are now 89 deaths across 14 counties attributed to Hurricane Ian, the Florida Medical Examiners Commission said Wednesday, as the Keys reported the first fatalities there after a boat carrying nearly two dozen “suspected” migrants succumbed last week to the storm’s mighty waves.
The new figures represent about a 24% increase compared to Tuesday when the commission reported 72 deaths across 12 counties. The new counties added to the commission’s tally are Putnam and Monroe, where the bodies of seven Cuban migrants have been found by authorities. Eight survived the ordeal, according to officials, and an additional eight remain missing.
Lee County tops the list with 49 fatalities, more than the other 13 counties combined, but the death toll is expected to continue rising as local authorities report deaths yet to be confirmed by the commission.
Among the fatalities not included in the commission’s official tally are an additional six in Lee, three in Collier County and 22 in Charlotte County, according to local sheriffs and the state’s Division of Emergency Management. If these deaths are later confirmed by the commission, its death toll could jump to 120.
The commission has confirmed the causes of 72 storm-related deaths thus far. Over half of those fatalities — 39 — were caused by drowning. It also listed the cause of death as “possible drowning” for a 33-year-old man in Martin County.
Here’s the county-by-county information provided by authorities as of Wednesday:
DEATHS BY COUNTY
▪ Lee County: 55 confirmed by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office. The Florida Medical Examiners Commission has confirmed 49.
▪ Charlotte County: 24 confirmed by the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office. The commission has confirmed two.
▪ Collier County: Kevin Guthrie, Florida’s Division of Emergency Management director, announced eight deaths on Friday but said they are unconfirmed. So far, the commission has confirmed five deaths across the county.
Each of the other 11 counties have seven deaths or less, according to the commission.
▪ Monroe County: seven
▪ Volusia County: five
▪ Sarasota County: five
▪ Hendry County: four
▪ Manatee County: three
▪ Putnam County: three
▪ Polk County: two
▪ Hillsborough County: one
▪ Lake County: one
▪ Martin County: one
▪ Hardee County: one