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Hurricane Ian deaths up to 144, 5 in Hillsborough

The latest Hillsborough County deaths are two men and one woman, all 60 and older, the medical examiner reports show.
In this Sept. 29 file photo, Jonathan Strong, of Cape Coral, holds his vest above the water as he wades through floodwaters while knocking on doors in a flooded mobile home community in Iona, in unincorporated Lee County near Fort Myers. Medical examiners have confirmed 144 deaths from Hurricane Ian, with 67 in Lee County, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported Friday.
In this Sept. 29 file photo, Jonathan Strong, of Cape Coral, holds his vest above the water as he wades through floodwaters while knocking on doors in a flooded mobile home community in Iona, in unincorporated Lee County near Fort Myers. Medical examiners have confirmed 144 deaths from Hurricane Ian, with 67 in Lee County, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported Friday. [ AMY BETH BENNETT | South Florida Sun-Sentinel ]
Published Dec. 9, 2022

Medical examiners have confirmed 144 deaths from Hurricane Ian, with 67 in Lee County, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement reported Friday.

The number of confirmed Ian-related deaths has gradually increased and was 141 on Dec. 1. The Category 4 hurricane made landfall Sept. 28 in Lee and Charlotte counties before crossing the state.

In all, 19 counties have had deaths related to the storm. Collier and Sarasota counties have each had 10 deaths, while Charlotte County has had nine and Monroe County and Volusia County have each had seven, according to a Florida Department of Law Enforcement news release.

Hillsborough County now has five confirmed deaths from Hurricane Ian, according to the latest medical examiner reports. Authorities reported the first two deaths, a 29-year-old man and an 85-year-old woman, in early October.

The latest Hillsborough County deaths are two men and one woman, all 60 and older, the death reports show.

A 60-year-old man in Hillsborough County was pouring gas into a generator at 11 p.m. the night after Hurricane Ian’s landfall on Sept. 29 when the generator suddenly exploded. The man caught fire from the explosion, and bystanders called 911 and tried to extinguish the flames. He arrived at the hospital just before midnight and had second-degree burns across nearly 60% of his body, the death report shows.

He died of his injuries almost a month later, on Oct. 27, according to the report.

An 82-year-old man was cleaning up debris caused by Hurricane Ian in his driveaway Sept. 29 when he slipped and fell. He was brought to a nearby hospital, where he was diagnosed with a fractured neck and had surgery. Almost a week later, at a rehabilitation facility, the man, who had dementia, fell in his room Oct. 5. He had additional falls while at the facility before he was ultimately found unresponsive in his bed. He was pronounced dead around 5:30 a.m. on Oct. 20, according to the death report.

Finally, an 80-year-old woman injured her head Oct. 3 after she fell while evacuating her home from the storm, according to the report. Her health declined while at Kindred Hospital Central Tampa, and she died after cardiac arrest Nov. 6, according to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Head trauma was listed as one of the probable causes of death.

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2022 Tampa Bay Times Hurricane Guide

IT'S STORM SEASON: Get ready and stay informed at tampabay.com/hurricane.

FORECAST: The ‘cone of uncertainty’ can be confusing. Here’s how to read it.

MODELS: How reliable are hurricane models? Hurricane Ian gave us some answers.

EVACUATIONS: Fewer evacuated to shelters during Hurricane Ian. How can Tampa Bay stay safe?

WHAT TO EXPECT IN A SHELTER: What to bring — and not bring — plus information on pets, keeping it civil and more.

WHAT TO DO IF HURRICANE DAMAGES YOUR HOME: Stay calm, then call your insurance company.

PREPARING FOR A HURRICANE: Make a plan, listen to experts, and know there’s help available if you need it.

DOUBLE-CHECK: Checklists for building all kinds of hurricane kits

PHONE IT IN: Use your smartphone to protect your data, documents and photos.

SELF-CARE: Protect your mental health during a hurricane.

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Rising Threat: A special report on flood risk and climate change

PART 1: The Tampa Bay Times partnered with the National Hurricane Center for a revealing look at future storms.

PART 2: Even weak hurricanes can cause huge storm surges. Experts say people don't understand the risk.

PART 3: Tampa Bay has huge flood risk. What should we do about it?

INTERACTIVE MAP: Search your Tampa Bay neighborhood to see the hurricane flood risk.