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Hurricane Ian victims return to battered homes as death toll continues to rise

Hurricane Ian and its effects killed at least 132 people after the storm devastated Cuba, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia over a week ago.

At least 132 people have died due to Hurricane Ian, according to local officials, as the death toll continues to climb more than a week after the powerful storm tore across Cuba and the eastern United States.

Search and rescue operations continue in Florida after Hurricane Ian devastated large portions of the state as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with winds up to 150 mph. 

Hurricane Ian is now the second-deadliest storm in the continental United States in the 21st Century since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The deadliest hurricane ever to hit the U.S. was the Great Galveston Hurricane in Texas in1900 that killed nearly 8,000 people.

According to the Florida Medical Commissioner, there was at least 123 deaths reported in 15 counties across the state

Areas within Lee County, including Sanibel Island and Fort Myers, are facing major damage in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

"Unfortunately the death toll has risen to 59 total deaths" Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said in a press conference on Thursday.

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Below is a list of storm-related deaths by county in Florida:

In a press release, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stated that over 2,500 rescues have been made, as first responders continue to assist residents whose homes were demolished by the hurricane.

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Five people in North Carolina have died as a result of Hurricane Ian, Gov. Roy Cooper said on Tuesday in a press release. 

Four of five deaths in North Carolina involved traffic crashes. Three of the people who died were in Johnston County.

Virginia State Police report 19-year-old Dylan B. Covington was driving outside of Lynchburg, Virginia, on Friday evening when the combination of gusty winds and heavy rainfall toppled a tree onto his car.

Troopers reported the driver was wearing his seatbelt but died at the scene.

According to a report from the United Nations, three people died in Cuba from Hurricane Ian.

Damage assessments are still underway across the island nation, but an initial survey said more than 100,000 homes had been damaged or destroyed by the powerful hurricane.

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