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LCSO confirms 56 dead due to Hurricane Ian; recovery efforts still underway

Posted at 7:55 PM, Oct 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-10 19:55:54-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Lee County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) confirms 56 dead in Lee County after Hurricane Ian, and recovery efforts are still taking place.

LCSO says more than 1,000 rescues have been made so far.

Sheriff Carmine Marceno said, "The factors we deal with was the person in the area at the time? Does the person have accurate contact information? Is their name correct? and also the last time the caller was in contact with the subject? We are leaving no stone unturned once these are completed we will have a definitive answer of the total number of missing people in Lee county."

Sheriff Marceno showed me around the area as he said the sheriff's office has fleet drones out daily trying to get to areas that are not accessible by car or boat - for example the mangroves.

"We just got hit by category five hurricane basically almost 5 I ask is patience because these searches and rescues and most importantly recoveries it takes time takes time to identify the property it takes time to know who owns the property and then if the property is standing or not you know if it’s just sand we have to figure out who it is and there’s a lot of investigations."

As of Monday - 56 confirmed deaths. The Lee County Sheriff says divers are still out searching vehicles and vessels submerged in San Carlos Bay.. so far 123 vessels and 23 vehicles have been located and searched - zero deceased inside.

And all while the recovery efforts are on going - neighbors continue to try and pick up the pieces day by day.

Fern & Bill Toomey are residents on Fort Myers Beach who say, "We had some friends who were missing for three days and we finally found them and they’re safe. The south end and devastation is just unimaginable we lost one of our vehicles but thankfully our home is fine and we have many friends that lost everything."

We went by ATV to see first hand the neighborhoods here on Fort Myers Beach.

"I can say for me yesterday for the first time it was being trapped like an apocalyptic movie it was just really unbelievable."

Many neighbors here I spoke with said all this debris is material things but are grateful to be alive.