As a result of accusations that inhabitants in some hard-hit areas did not have enough time to escape, state officials in the US have come under fire. In Lee County, where Ian made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane, more than half of the fatalities are reported.

On Wednesday, Florida is anticipated to host President Joe Biden. On Monday, Mr. Biden traveled to Puerto Rico, which was hit by Hurricane Fiona just days before Hurricane Ian hit Florida, and made a $60 million (£53 million) aid pledge to assist the US territory. In the town of Ponce, where some residents were still without power, he declared, “We’re going to make sure you get every single dollar promised.”


On Monday night, the hurricane’s death toll in Florida increased to at least 99, according to CBS, a US partner network of the BBC. In North Carolina, four more deaths have been reported. The current death toll, according to Florida officials, is at least 68. The figures are different because the medical examiner’s office will only attribute a fatality to a hurricane after an autopsy, whereas local officials may report additional storm-related deaths.

Sheriff Carmine Marceno stated at a press conference that the majority of the fatalities, 54, had been reported in Lee County, which includes the hard-hit cities of Fort Myers, Sanibel, and Pine Island. According to Mr. Marceno, access to the Fort Myers beach area has been restricted so that police can look into fatalities and preserve potential crime scenes. He continued by saying that numerous arrests had been made as a result of reported looting occurrences.

Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, referred to the county as “ground zero” for the hurricane on Friday. In the aftermath of hurricanes, confusion over fatality tolls is frequent. For instance, Hurricane Laura in 2020 caused less than 20 fatalities, which the National Hurricane Center later corrected to 47, days after it made landfall in Louisiana.

Although Hurricane Ian already has one of the highest death tolls in recent memory, it still falls short of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which claimed the lives of more than 1,800 people. Lee County officials have been questioned regarding the timeliness of their evacuation order, which was issued on September 27, less than 24 hours before Ian made landfall, in the wake of the storm.


A day earlier, a number of other counties in the path of the approaching hurricane issued their own evacuation orders. Local leaders and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis have defended Lee County’s hurricane preparedness. Southwest Florida is the most difficult region in the nation to evacuate in a crisis, according to a 2015 planning document on the Lee County government’s official website.

According to the paper, evacuation hazards, disruptions to both the lives of our inhabitants and visitors, businesses, and the potential scope of the impending threat are all taken into account while making evacuation decisions.

At least 16 Cuban refugees still unaccounted for after their boat overturned off the coast of Florida during the hurricane are not included in the death toll listed by Florida authorities. Nine of the 27 passengers were saved by the US Coast Guard, and two others were able to swim ashore at Stock Island, close to Key West. Two more dead people’s bodies have been found. The Coast Guard has stopped looking for individuals who are still unaccounted for.

According to information from, some 451,000 homes and businesses across the state are still without electricity. Florida Power & Light Co., the utility with the highest number of outages, stated that while most customers will have power restored by 7 October, hurricane damage has rendered some properties “unsafe to take power.”

While state officials are still evaluating the hurricane’s damage, experts have cautioned that the eventual economic impact might reach tens of billions of dollars. The early claims recorded by insurers to date total roughly $1.44 billion (£1.28 billion). According to an early prediction made by data firm Enki Research and released on October 1st, overall damages will be at least $66 billion but might reach $75 billion.

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