Tampa, Florida (WFLA) — Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno confirmed “about 35” additional deaths Saturday after Hurricane Ian devastated much of southwest Florida.
The announcement comes after state officials have already confirmed dozens of deaths across Florida.
Marceno said his emergency response team is working hard to assess the damage and continue search and rescue operations.
“Today, we have rescued more than 600 to 700 people in need during this difficult time, and unfortunately 35 people have died.”
The sheriff said his team was working to release information about those killed, but said it would take a long process before their identities were released. It was not immediately confirmed whether the fatalities were related to the storm.
“We need to notify our immediate family and family members,” the sheriff added.
Some residents in Lee County, south of Sarasota and Charlotte counties, expressed concern that officials delayed evacuation orders until Tuesday. Tampa Bay Times It “didn’t make sense” to wait that long.
“If it hadn’t been for the news reports, I might not have been evacuated,” a Fort Myers woman told the outlet.
Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center said Monday night that “life-threatening” storm surges were expected in many parts of Florida, including Fort Myers in central Lee County. new york times report.
Other counties just north of Lee, including Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte, had already announced evacuations on Monday, about half a day before Lee County officials ordered evacuations Tuesday morning, according to the New York Times.
Kevin Guthrie, head of Florida’s emergency management division, later noted that the hurricane was predicted to make landfall further along the coast of Tampa Bay, and officials said, “Based on the information we had at the time. I made the best decision possible,” he said. The Times reported.
Marceno’s update on Saturday morning only highlights how much the region has been affected by the powerful storm.
Marceno added that people across the state have come together “as a whole” to recover from the devastating blow.
“Everyone from Governor Ron DeSantis to Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis to attorneys general to sheriffs across the state have provided us with talent here in Lee County,” Marceno said. . “What a blessing that is!”
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https://fox40.com/news/national-and-world-news/about-35-deaths-reported-in-single-florida-county-after-hurricane-ian-sheriff-says/ ‘About 35 deaths’ reported in one Florida county after Hurricane Ian, sheriff says