Hurricane Ian has killed at least 17 people in the US – and officials are warning number of deaths will rise

US News

Hurricane Ian has killed at least 17 people in the US, with officials warning the number of fatalities will rise.

A 22-year-old woman died after an all-terrain vehicle flipped over on a washed-out portion of road.

Meanwhile, a 71-year-old man died of head injuries when he fell off a roof while putting up rain shutters.

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Timelapse of storm surge flooding Florida

Several of those who lost their lives drowned, including a 68-year-old woman who was swept into the ocean by a wave.

These fatalities happened in Florida, where Hurricane Ian has left a path of destruction.

After heading into the Atlantic Ocean, the storm has now made another landfall in South Carolina.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says rescue crews have gone door to door to more than 3,000 homes in the hardest-hit areas – searching for survivors and attempting to save thousands of people trapped in flooded buildings.

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Others who died as the hurricane struck included an 80-year-old woman and a 94-year-old man who relied on oxygen machines that stopped working because of power cuts.

Separately, a 67-year-old man who was waiting to be rescued lost his life after falling into rising water inside his home.

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Florida’s devastation seen from above

In Florida, the latest figures suggest that over 1.7 million residents are still without power. A further 400,000 homes and businesses in the Carolinas are also affected.

At a news conference, Mr DeSantis assured the public that these outages will be fixed – but in the hardest-hit areas, he warned it may take longer than 48 hours to get infrastructure back online.

He also warned that looting or taking advantage of people in a vulnerable situation would not be tolerated – and criminals who did so were taking a huge risk.

“I wouldn’t want to chance that as we’re a Second Amendment state,” Mr DeSantis told reporters.

Read more:
Eyewitness: No one expected Ian to be so vicious
Dramatic images show scale of the destruction

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Dramatic Coast Guard rescue in Florida

Hurricane Ian is one of the strongest storms to ever strike the US, with President Joe Biden warning it will likely rank among the worst in America’s history.

“We’re just beginning to see the scale of that destruction,” he added.

One 70-year-old retiree – Rita Chambers – lives in Fort Myers, one of Florida’s worst-affected cities.

She said Ian was unlike any storm she had ever seen, but added: “I would rather shovel sand from my Florida home than shovel the snow in New York. If you live in paradise, you have to put up with a hurricane.”

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