More Than 100 Dead As Hurricane Ian’s Death Toll Continues To Rise

REUTERS/Marco Bello

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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The death toll from Hurricane Ian surpassed 100 on Monday, just five days after the Category 4 storm struck Florida and North Carolina.

The total number of deaths grew to 99 in Florida late Monday, with four additional deaths reported in North Carolina, bringing the total to 103, according to CBS News. Hurricane Ian hit Florida on Wednesday as an near-Category 5 storm, bringing storm surges and high winds that caused mass destruction across Fort Myers, Naples and neighboring communities.

More than 1,900 people have been rescued across Florida as of Monday as crews searched affected areas via boat and aircraft and went door-to-door looking for survivors, CNN reported. Hundreds of thousands of Floridians, particularly those in island communities, are without power, and many have been left homeless, the outlet noted.

One resident, 49-year-old Elizabeth McGuire, was found dead in her bed, clutching her cell phone, CNN continued. “One hundred blizzards will not cost you what one hurricane will cost you,” McGuire’s mother, Susan, told CNN. “My husband’s business wiped out, my daughter is dead … I never had a blizzard take anything away from me.”

On Sanibel Island, which is cut off from the mainland, reports suggest that every home has been damaged, and that alligators and snakes are “running around” everywhere, CNN continued. Similar scenes have been reported on Pine Island, the outlet noted. (RELATED: FEMA Shuts Down Harris’ Suggestion Over Hurricane Ian Aid)

It is still unclear how many people remain missing, and flood waters are not receding quickly, CNN reported. “With ground saturation, all this swamp is full and it just can’t take any more water. It doesn’t look like it’s getting any lower,” one resident told CBS News.