At least 48 people have died because of Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the US mainland, as the death toll is expected to rise.

Iran PressAmerica: Florida residents continue to grapple with floodwaters yet to recede and search efforts underway as the state comes to terms with the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the US mainland.

The confirmed death toll, now at 48, is expected to rise, as more autopsies are completed and recovery efforts continue. US President Joe Biden warned that Ian could be Florida’s deadliest hurricane ever, The Washington Post reported.

Florida National Guard troops relied on high-water vehicles to drop off rescued residents at a church in North Port on Saturday.

Connie Cullison, 67, said she was finally picked up Saturday afternoon, after she had initially called for help Friday night. The rising water had cut off access to her home, and Cullison needs a walker to get around after having knee replacement surgery.

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“My house has minor damage but we just have no power, no water, no food,” Cullison said after she was brought to the church. “But there are people so much worse off than me.”

Florida’s Medical Examiners Commission said Saturday night that the storm had caused 44 deaths in the state, most of them from drowning. Many of the victims were over 60 years old. Bodies were found inside flooded cars, floating in waters and drowned on the beach. That number is expected to grow as rescuers comb through debris and medical examiners conduct autopsies. There were four storm-related deaths in North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) said.

Officials said 30 of the victims in Florida were found in Lee County, which includes Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Cape Coral. The county does not have running water, and nearly 70 percent of it is without power.


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