TAMPA, Fla. — Hurricane Matthew has claimed the lives of four people in Florida as of Friday evening.
The St. Lucie County Fire District reported that two people died there. Emergency vehicles were not able to respond to the calls because of dangerously strong winds, the agency reported on its Facebook page.
A call came in at 3:26 a.m. about an 82-year-old man who was not conscious and was breathing with difficulty. When it was deemed safe for emergency vehicles to travel, it was reported to first respondors that the patient had been taken to the hospital in a personal vehicle. The St. Lucie County Fire District was later informed that the patient had died.
The SLCFD also said that a 58-year-old woman died after suffering cardiac arrest. That 911 call came in at 1:20 a.m.
Hurricane Matthew is being blamed for the death of a woman in Volusia County. Volusia County emergency management director Jim Judge says a tree fell on a woman’s house in the county, which includes the city of Daytona Beach. Judge says her family took her to a hospital, where she died.
In another-storm related incident in St. Lucie County, a couple in their early 90s was found by a neighbor. The couple was not conscious and not breathing. They had been running a generator inside their garage throughout the storm. Both were transported to the hospital in critical condition.
The SLCFD called the incident a tragic reminder that you should not operate generators in your home, garage or under soffits. You should place generators as far away from your home as possible because of the dangers caused by carbon monoxide.
In Putnam County, a woman was killed when a tree fell on her camper trailer, officials said. Around 3 p.m. deputies responded to the trailer in the Crescent City area, where the victim and a male were trying to ride out the storm. The man was able to escape, suffering only minor injuries. The woman was killed.