How Many People Died From Hurricane Ian in Florida?

February 7, 2024

As the sun set, Stacy Verdream sat in her car in her neighborhood of Matlacha, Florida, preparing to ride out Hurricane Ian. Her uncle, Mike, 66, had decided to stay at his boss' two-story home, where the family could escape if things got bad. He was a man who took pride in his work and lived to help others, her aunt told CNN. "He was the most generous, loving person I've ever known," she said. "He was the best father, husband, son, and brother."

But as he headed toward the state, Ian turned deadly. The storm made landfall on Sept. 28 near Cayo Costa in southwestern Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, but it was only 7 mph shy of being a high-end Category 5. As Ian moved across the state, its center track cut a destructive path through a 10-county region that is especially vulnerable to storm surge and other forms of flooding, including inland areas with dense populations.

Many people died because they didn't evacuate. Others drowned in the floodwaters brought on by the pounding surf and 13-18 foot storm surge that hit southwestern Florida. In a pattern that has been repeated in other storms, water is the No. 1 killer during a hurricane or tropical storm, whether from storm surge, high surf or flooding rains, according to research by a former deputy director of the National Hurricane Center.

As of Thursday, the official death toll from Hurricane Ian stood at 114 in Florida and five other states, with most of those deaths coming from the feared storm surge. The dots on this map represent individuals whose deaths were attributed to the storm by medical examiners. Hover over or tap a dot for details, including the county where the person lived and what caused their death.


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