Wilma's death toll rises to 21 in Florida

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October 30, 2005 04:42
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The death toll from Hurricane Wilma rose to 21 in Florida, after state emergency officials reported seven more deaths Saturday in the storm's aftermath. The deaths brought the total number of casualties from the storm - which pummeled Mexico, Haiti and Jamaica before hitting Florida - to 38. Some people died during cleanup, others were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning or traffic accidents during power outages, Florida emergency officials said. Among the deaths: A 51-year-old man was killed Thursday while helping repair a roof on a friend's business; a 75-year-old man was struck Friday by a tree limb while surveying damage; and a 39-year-old woman died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a smoldering charcoal grill in her kitchen. Five days after Hurricane Wilma ripped through South Florida, about 832,700 people remained without power. Electricity might not be fully restored until Nov. 22, officials warned. Wilma was the eighth hurricane to strike or pass by Florida in 15 months. It came ashore Monday as a Category 3 storm on the southwest coast and weather officials say it was either a Category 1 or 2 with gusts of 115 mph as it slammed through Miami, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach.

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