ORLANDO, Fla. – Though the area was left mostly unscathed by Hurricane Dorian, at least three people died in Orange County while preparing for the storm or evacuating because of it, according to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings.
County officials said a 55-year-old Ocoee man died while trimming a tree as part of his hurricane preparations. Joseph Waldon was sawing a limb and when it broke free, it struck him and caused him to fall to the ground. He died at Health Central Hospital.
A 62-year-old man died from a heart attack before the storm, officials said.
"According to the medical examiner, someone suffered a heart attack during hurricane preparation. And by CDC guidelines, that falls under a hurricane-related death," officials said in a statement.
Officials with the Orange County Sheriff's Office said the man was found in his yard by a family member Monday night. Before that, he had last been seen earlier that day making hurricane preparations in his yard, deputies said.
A 57-year-old man who had evacuated from another Central Florida city to a Disney resort died Monday, according to the Sheriff's Office. Reedy Creek Fire Department responded to Disney's Art of Animation Resort at 4:43 p.m. for a call of a man down. The man was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead. A cause of death was not available on Wednesday.
The Orange County deaths bring the number of Dorian-related fatalities in Central Florida to three, according to reports. An Indialantic man fell to his death Sunday while putting plywood on the windows of his beachside condo ahead of Dorian's expected arrival, police said.
In the days after the system formed in the Atlantic Ocean, forecasters predicted it would hit Central Florida hard. Central Florida finally felt the impacts of the Category 2 hurricane Tuesday evening and into Wednesday, only after it hit parts of the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm and stalled there for a day.
At least seven deaths have been reported in the Bahamas from Dorian, with the full scope of the disaster still unknown, according to The Associated Press.
The Category 2 storm is continuing its trek offshore Florida's coast toward the Carolinas.
Around noon Wednesday, North Carolina emergency officials had reported the first Dorian-related death in the state.