Hurricane Ian makes second landfall in South Carolina as death toll rises in Florida

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Ian swept ashore as a Class 1 storm close to the historic Georgetown shortly earlier than 2.30pm on Friday afternoon US time, with high sustained winds of 85mph, says the US Nationwide Hurricane Heart.

It was anticipated to convey life-threatening flooding, storm surges and winds to South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina, with officers in all three states warning residents to arrange for harmful situations.

The storm hit Florida’s Gulf Coast as a strong Class 4 hurricane with 150mph winds on Wednesday, flooding properties and leaving almost 2.7 million folks with out energy.

Earlier than it reached South Carolina on Friday, sheets of rain whipped timber and energy traces and left areas of central Charleston underwater by noon within the US.

A preferred pier within the seaside neighborhood of Pawleys Island collapsed and floated away, whereas in Myrtle Seaside, waves had been pushing towards the town’s boardwalk vacationer space, flowing over the place 1000’s of vacationers sometimes fill the huge sandy stretch.

Ian left destruction in its wake after it got here ashore on Florida’s Gulf Coast as one of many strongest storms ever to hit the US.

The storm flooded areas on each of Florida’s coasts, tore properties from their foundations, demolished beachfront companies and left greater than 2 million folks with out energy.

There have been stories of not less than 21 deaths in Florida, Kevin Guthrie, director of the state’s Division of Emergency Administration, mentioned at a morning briefing. He careworn that a few of these stories stay unconfirmed.

Amongst these killed had been an 80-year-old lady and a 94-year-old man who relied on oxygen machines that stopped working amid energy outages, in addition to a a 67-year-old man who was ready to be rescued, and died after falling into rising water inside his residence, authorities mentioned.

An enormous search and rescue operation remained underway in Florida on Friday as President Joe Biden warned of “substantial lack of life”.

Rescue crews piloted boats and waded by way of flooded streets to avoid wasting 1000’s of Floridians trapped of their properties.

The storm made made landfall on Wednesday in Florida close to Cayo Costa as an “extraordinarily harmful” class 4 storm with winds of 150 mph leaving greater than two million folks with out energy.

A storm surge as excessive as 12ft crashed into the shoreline turning streets into rivers sparking warnings of “life-threatening” flooding.

The city of Fort Myers Seaside was nearly submerged by floodwaters, and a few properties might be seen floating downstream, together with automobiles.

President Biden mentioned a search and rescue operation was underway to assist individuals who had been left “in determined form” by the storm.

He mentioned: “This might be the deadliest hurricane in Florida’s historical past.

Hurricane Ian: Joe Biden warns of ‘substantial lack of life’ in Florida as storm heads to South Carolina

“The numbers are nonetheless unclear however we’re listening to stories of what could also be substantial lack of life.”

The destruction started to come back into focus a day after Ian made landfall in Florida.

The storm flooded properties on each of the state’s coasts, reduce off the one bridge to a barrier island, destroyed a historic waterfront pier and knocked out electrical energy to 2.5 million Florida properties and companies. A minimum of one man was confirmed lifeless.

“We’ve by no means seen storm surge of this magnitude,” Florida governor Ron DeSantis advised a information convention.“The quantity of water that’s been rising, and can doubtless proceed to rise at present even because the storm is passing, is principally a 500-year flooding occasion.”

Although downgraded to a tropical storm by Thursday morning, the Nationwide Hurricane Centre mentioned storm surge and flooding rains remained a menace as Ian crept throughout the Florida peninsula and emerged within the Atlantic Ocean.

Boats lie scattered amidst cell properties after the passage of Hurricane Ian, on San Carlos Island, in Fort Myers Seaside

/ AP

Sheriffs in south-west Florida mentioned 911 centres had been inundated by 1000’s of stranded callers, some with life-threatening emergencies.

The US Coast Guard started rescue efforts round dawn on barrier islands close to the place the Ian struck, Mr DeSantis mentioned. Hearth departments fanned out in flooded areas as nicely.

Within the Orlando space, Orange County firefighters used boats to succeed in folks in a flooded neighbourhood.

Broken boats and buildings are seen within the aftermath of Hurricane Ian

/ AP

At an space nursing residence surrounded by water, sufferers had been carried on stretchers throughout floodwaters to a ready bus.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno mentioned his workplace was scrambling to reply to 1000’s of 911 calls, however many roads and bridges in Fort Myers and the encompassing space stay impassable.

“It crushed us.” Mr Marceno advised ABC’s Good Morning America. “We nonetheless can not entry most of the folks which can be in want.”

Emergency crews sawed by way of toppled timber to succeed in stranded folks. Many within the hardest-hit areas had been unable to name for assist amid widespread electrical outages.

Getty Photographs

A piece of the Sanibel Causeway fell into the ocean, reducing off entry to the barrier island the place 6,300 folks usually dwell.

In Port Charlotte, a hospital’s emergency room flooded and fierce winds ripped away a part of the roof, sending water gushing down into the intensive care unit.

Giant swathes of southern Florida had been left with out energy with 2.2 million left with out electrical energy, in line with PowerOutage.us.

Getty Photographs

About 2.5 million folks had been ordered to evacuate south-west Florida earlier than Ian hit yesterday afternoon.

Ian was anticipated to dump 12-18in (30-45cm) of rain throughout a broad space together with Tampa, Orlando, and Jacksonville.

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