The death count from the devastating blizzard that slammed the coast of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico in early November was more than doubled in the last week, as officials and residents said the toll was far higher than the official tally.
Officials said Wednesday that the death toll in the past week was now at 6,923, up from 5,895 on Monday, while the total number of people who died in the storm is now at more than 2,400, up a total of more than 500.
There were also more than 7,000 fatalities in the first three weeks of the storm, and the number of fatalities in Florida and Florida’s coastal areas has risen sharply, with a death toll of more the 3,000 the governor’s office reported in early December.
The governor’s spokeswoman, Kim Schmitz, said Wednesday the number is likely to go higher because of the heat and humidity that accompanied the storm.
More than 70 people were killed when the National Weather Service said a car crashed in a rural area in North Carolina, where it crashed into a tree and flipped over, killing the driver and two passengers.
The National Weather Services issued a tornado warning in Georgia, which also had a storm surge of 2 feet, and a severe storm warning in North and South Carolina.
The severe weather warning is in effect until 4 p.m.
In Georgia, a car hit a house in the town of Clayton, killing a man and injuring four other people.
In Florida, the death count in the state was up from 442 on Monday to more than 1,400 on Wednesday.
The total number is now more than 4,500.
The governor’s disaster relief agency reported Wednesday that about 7,300 homes have been destroyed, but that the total of those homes is likely much higher because more homes were destroyed than damaged.
Officials in Florida said the number was likely higher because they did not have the full power of the state’s disaster management agency in place, which could have helped to prevent more damage.
In addition to the death tally, the governor said his office has determined that the number has more than tripled from 1,200 deaths on Nov. 1 to about 1,500 on Nov 10.
State officials also said that the storm has left an estimated $2.5 billion in damage.
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