Hurricane Irma death toll in Florida continues to rise. – Irma now (unofficially) the deadliest modern Florida hurricane

Hurricane Irma according to the official records from the State of Florida has now been responsible for 50 deaths in the state. When you add to this total the 14 deaths in Monroe County not part of the state total or the 11 indirect deaths in Broward due to the nursing home that lost air conditioning  you reach 75 deaths unofficially in the state.

Where does Irma’s 75 direct and indirect deaths rank historically? Taking storms prior to 1950 out of the equation (when warning systems and forecast tools improved) Irma is now the deadliest storm to impact the state. While nowhere near as deadly as the 1928 Okeechobee Hurricane or 1935 Labor Day Hurricane for the modern era this is an unwelcome (unofficial) record. While some of this can certainly be fairly attributed to the size and scope of Irma and the increased population of the state, much of it can also be blamed on a lack of general preparedness for the state, that is being Hurricane ready at all times with infrastructure, etc.

Irma (2017) 75
Wilma (2005) 61
Andrew (1992) 44
Charley (2004) 29
Dennis (2005) 14
Donna (1960) 14
Katrina (2005) 14
Ivan (2004) 14
Matthew (2016) 12
King (1950) 11
Agnes (1972)  9
Irene (1999) 8
Frances (2004) 7
Betsy (1965) 5
Hermine (2016) 5
Eloise (1975) 4
Dora (1964) 4
Jeanne (2004) 4
Elena (1985) 3
Kate (1985) 3
Cleo (1964) 2
Opal (1995) 1

  • This list only includes storms that directly impacted Florida with Hurricane force winds – it does not include Hurricanes that impacted Florida with its outer bands.
  • The list does not include Tropical Storms. This is a list only of Hurricanes.
  • Every storm on this list made a Florida landfall save Ivan whose “dirty side” dramatically impacted the Florida Panhandle as it made landfall just west of the Florida/Alabama state line.

Here is the breakdown of Irma deaths by county (unofficial and pulled from various sources):

Counties in bold were directly hit with the center of the storm while it was at Hurricane strength.

Broward 18
Collier  1
Duval  5
Hardee  2
Highlands 3
Hillsborough  4
Lake 1
Lee 1
Leon 2
Liberty 1
Marion 1
Miami-Dade 4
Monroe 14
Okeechobee 1
Orange 5
Palm Beach 4
Pinellas 2
Polk 2
St. Lucie 1
Taylor 2
Volusia 1

Florida total: 75

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