51-Year-Old Florida Man Electrocuted to Death During Hurricane Irma

NTD Newsroom
By NTD Newsroom
September 13, 2017News
51-Year-Old Florida Man Electrocuted to Death During Hurricane Irma
A tree is felled by winds produced by Hurricane Irma on September 10, 2017, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A man from Florida died after being electrocuted by a downed power line after it was knocked over by Hurricane Irma.

Irma brought heavy winds and rain that led to many fallen trees, power outages, and floods across Florida.

Police said the 51-year-old man identified as Brian Paul Buwalda was killed near his home on the morning of Monday Sept. 10, ABC9 reported.

On social media, friends of Buwalda suggested he was helping another family when he was killed.

“Prayers for Brian Buwalda’s family. He was trying to get a tarp to another family and was electrocuted.” Jill Decker said on a Facebook post.

Officers were called to the home located at Leith and Westchester avenues in Winter Park, Florida at 7:22 am. They found Buwalda laying on the road, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the death of Buwalda, who was an accountant, appeared to be accidental, the Daily Mail reported.

The official cause of death is still being investigated by the medical examiner’s office.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said on Wednesday, Sept. 13 that residents should not try to handle downed power lines by themselves.

“If there are downed power lines in your area, contact your local utility company to report it. Do not handle it on your own,” Scott said in a tweet.

On Facebook, tributes to Buwalda called him an “incredibly kind man” and one that has “influenced and blessed so many.”

Florida authorities have warned people to stay away from downed power lines and recommended residents not to drive through flooded roads during storms.

At least 16 hurricane related deaths have been reported on the U.S. mainland, CNN reported.

Out of that number Florida reported 12 deaths, Georgia reported 3 deaths, and South Carolina had two deaths.

Power outages in the state affected nearly 5 million homes, organizations, and business, including gas stations which need electricity to keep the pumps functioning.

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