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1 Hurricane Idalia-related death confirmed by medical examiners

The death was confirmed in Alachua County, one of the regions hit hardest by the Category 3 storm.

ALACHUA COUNTY, Fla. — Hurricane Idalia claimed at least one person's life when it made landfall Wednesday morning as a Category 3 storm in Florida's Big Bend region, FDLE confirmed.

State medical examiners confirmed the news in a release on Thursday afternoon.

"There is one death attributed to Hurricane Idalia confirmed by the MEC from Alachua County," the release reads.

Medical examiners said the death was "storm-related" but did not provide further details. 

Authorities confirmed one more death related to the storm in Georgia, where a man was hit by a falling tree.

Alachua County, which encompasses the Gainesville area, was one of the regions hit hardest by Hurricane Idalia. It was faced with destroyed homes, broken trees and flooded roads as Idalia roared through with 125 mph winds.

As many as a half-million customers were without power at one point in Florida and Georgia as the storm ripped down utility poles.

Rescue and repair efforts are now in full force as residents begin the arduous process of clearing fallen trees, restoring electricity and picking through the debris of devastated homes.

On Thursday, President Biden approved Florida's request for a Major Disaster Declaration, meaning federal funding will supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts.

The money can go toward grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs to help people recover from the effects of the storm.

Any residents or business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties can apply for assistance at www.DisasterAssistance.gov, by calling 800-621-FEMA (3362) or by using the FEMA App

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