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Irma blamed for at least 6 deaths in Florida, more than 40 overall

FLORIDA — Hurricane Irma has been blamed for more than 40 deaths, including six in Florida, as of 8:00 p.m. CT Monday, September 11th.

Authorities say a Florida man appears to have been electrocuted by a downed power line following Irma. Winter Park police spokesman Garvin McComie says officers responded Monday morning following reports of a man lying in the roadway. The officers determined that 51-year-old Brian Buwalda was dead at the scene. A medical examiner will determine an official cause of death, but McComie says it appears to be an accident.

A Florida woman was killed when her SUV crashed into a guardrail as Irma approached the state. A Florida Highway Patrol report says 50-year-old Heidi Zehner was driving on state Route 417 near Orlando on Sunday evening when she lost control and crashed. The crash occurred just a couple hours after Hurricane Irma made landfall 200 miles (320 kilometers) to the south in Marco Island. The cause of the crash was under investigation.

Tropical Storm Irma claimed three lives in Georgia. The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office says on its website that a woman died from injuries she suffered when a tree fell on a vehicle in a private driveway. The sheriff’s office says deputies and firefighters tried to rescue the woman, but she died from her injuries. The sheriff’s office said it was withholding the woman’s name until her family and friends had been notified.

The storm is also being blamed for the death of a man in his 50s who died when a tree fell on his house just north of Atlanta and for the death of a 62-year-old man in rural southwest Georgia who had a heart attack after he climbed onto a shed Monday in a county where sustained winds exceeded 40 mph (65 kph).

The first death in South Carolina related to Tropical Storm Irma was reported Monday. Abbeville County Coroner Ronnie Ashley said 57-year-old Charles Saxon was cleaning limbs and debris outside his home in Calhoun Falls around 3 p.m. Monday when a limb fell on him. Ashely said in a news release that Saxon died at the scene. An autopsy has been ordered. The National Weather Service says winds in the area were gusting to around 40 mph (65 kph) at the time Saxon was killed.