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South Carolina braces for deadly Hurricane Ian to make landfall within HOURS bringing 85mph winds

Horrifying footage shows water pushing past sand dunes and seeping into properties, washing away several structures in its wake as bigger waves and high winds of up to 85mph are battering the region

Hurricane Ian is already swallowing homes in Myrtle Beach in South Carolina as a ‘life-threatening’ storm surge of up to 7ft has started attacking the coastline with rapidly rising water as the storm makes its second landfall.

The killer storm has already barreled through Florida leaving swathes of the state decimated and up to 21 dead, with many more still missing.

Horrifying footage shows water pushing past sand dunes and seeping into properties, washing away several structures in its wake as bigger waves and high winds of up to 85mph are battering the region. 

Tide levels have already risen to over 9.5ft, increasing at more than a foot an hour since 6am on Friday and is the highest water level measured in Myrtle Beach since Hurricane Isaias hit in August 2020. 

The Coburg Cow, a statue of a brown cow called Bessie and a bottle of milk, has ominously been removed from its perch in Charleston for safekeeping.

It has only ever been removed twice before, to protect it from Hurricane Florence and Hugo, and usually marks a turning point in the severity of storm conditions to locals.

Pawleys Island Pier has also been washed away by the waves, as residents and pets on Myrtle Beach properties had to be evacuated. 

Monster tempest Ian recharged from a tropical storm back into a Category 1 hurricane on Thursday, and has battered South Carolina, as well as neighboring North Carolina and Georgia.

A tornado watch is in effect until 10 p.m. ET for parts of the Carolinas and Virginia, covering nearly 5 million people. 

President Biden has declared a state of emergency in South Carolina, ordering federal assistance from Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate all disaster relief efforts and spoke to Gov. Henry McMaster.

Yesterday he said that the government would foot the bill for all damage in nine counties of Florida, with the damage expected to be in excess of $260million. 

A state of emergency has since been declared in Charleston County, which has a population of about 413,000, with officials changing operations to react to a disaster or emergency.

At least 21 people have died in Florida, with the death toll expected to be much higher as the damage is assessed and rescue missions get underway. 

Horrifying footage shows water pushing past sand dunes and seeping into properties, washing away several structures in its wake as bigger waves and high winds of up to 85mph are battering the region

Horrifying footage shows water pushing past sand dunes and seeping into properties, washing away several structures in its wake as bigger waves and high winds of up to 85mph are battering the region

Tide levels have already risen to over 9.5ft, increasing at more than a foot an hour since 6am on Friday and is the highest water level measured in Myrtle Beach since Hurricane Isaias hit in August 2020

Tide levels have already risen to over 9.5ft, increasing at more than a foot an hour since 6am on Friday and is the highest water level measured in Myrtle Beach since Hurricane Isaias hit in August 2020

Cars in Charleston attempted to drive down the street  as it continued to flood as storm surge water seeped through the South Carolina city

Cars in Charleston attempted to drive down the street  as it continued to flood as storm surge water seeped through the South Carolina city

The Coburg Cow, a statue of a brown cow called Bessie and a bottle of milk, has ominously been removed from its perch in Charleston for safekeeping

It has only ever been removed twice before, to protect it from Hurricane Florence and Hugo, and usually marks a turning point in the severity of storm conditions to locals

The Coburg Cow, a statue of a brown cow called Bessie and a bottle of milk, has ominously been removed from its perch in Charleston for safekeeping. It has only ever been removed twice before, to protect it from Hurricane Florence and Hugo, and usually marks a turning point in the severity of storm conditions to locals

A police vehicle drives down a flooded street as rain from Ian and water from the storm surge starts to hit

A police vehicle drives down a flooded street as rain from Ian and water from the storm surge starts to hit

Rain from Hurricane Ian starts to submerge a white car as the water continues to swallow properties

Rain from Hurricane Ian starts to submerge a white car as the water continues to swallow properties 

Emergency services have already started coming out in force after trees were uprooted and swept across roads in Charleston, South Carolina

Emergency services have already started coming out in force after trees were uprooted and swept across roads in Charleston, South Carolina

A tree fell through the roof of a property in McClellanville, which is a few miles northwest of Charleston

A tree fell through the roof of a property in McClellanville, which is a few miles northwest of Charleston

A tree fell through the roof of a property in McClellanville, which is a few miles northwest of Charleston

Firefighters are preparing to protect areas of South Carolina, as Ian has started sending swells of water in storm surges along the coastline

Firefighters are preparing to protect areas of South Carolina, as Ian has started sending swells of water in storm surges along the coastline

A local resident hauls debris from the road in an effort to keep gutter drains clear as hurricane Ian bears down on Charleston, South Carolina

A local resident hauls debris from the road in an effort to keep gutter drains clear as hurricane Ian bears down on Charleston, South Carolina

An Apple store in Charleston has sandbagged the front of the property to brace for the extreme weather

An Apple store in Charleston has sandbagged the front of the property to brace for the extreme weather

A firetruck departs after marking low hanging wires as the effects of the 85mph winds from Ian are felt along the coast

A firetruck departs after marking low hanging wires as the effects of the 85mph winds from Ian are felt along the coast

Residents in Charleston were quick to board up their properties with plywood across the doors and windows to protect them before leaving the state

Residents in Charleston were quick to board up their properties with plywood across the doors and windows to protect them before leaving the state

The National Guard has been brought in to prepare Charleston for the direct hit from Hurricane Ian, with winds whipping the coastline

The National Guard has been brought in to prepare Charleston for the direct hit from Hurricane Ian, with winds whipping the coastline

A report from the city shows 95 per cent of all residential housing are at risk of serious flooding, with experts claiming the storm surges could have 'devastating impacts' to the 'core systems which keep the city functioning'

A report from the city shows 95 per cent of all residential housing are at risk of serious flooding, with experts claiming the storm surges could have ‘devastating impacts’ to the ‘core systems which keep the city functioning’

Heavy rain has already been battering the historic city, with extreme weather warnings in place as thousands of residents boarded up their homes and prepared to flee

Heavy rain has already been battering the historic city, with extreme weather warnings in place as thousands of residents boarded up their homes and prepared to flee

Residents in Charleston, South Carolina, are boarding up their properties as they await Hurricane Ian's arrival on Friday

Residents in Charleston, South Carolina, are boarding up their properties as they await Hurricane Ian’s arrival on Friday

This National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite handout image shows Hurricane Ian on September 30

Corey Fields, with the city of Charleston, cleans a storm drain as effects from Hurricane Ian are felt as winds and rain batter the city

Corey Fields, with the city of Charleston, cleans a storm drain as effects from Hurricane Ian are felt as winds and rain batter the city 

Highway cameras have captured long queues of residents fleeing South Carolina as the Charleston County has issued a state of emergency

Highway cameras have captured long queues of residents fleeing South Carolina as the Charleston County has issued a state of emergency

President Biden yesterday called Ian the ‘deadliest hurricane in Florida’s history’, adding that there was likely to be ‘substantial loss of life’.

Earlier he declared it a ‘major disaster’ and freed up funds to help those without power and hundreds of thousands whose homes have been levelled – now doing the same for South Carolina.

He spoke again with DeSantis on Friday morning, adding that he plans to visit the Sunshine State when ‘conditions allow’ and he will meet with the Florida Governor if he ‘wants to meet’. 

A report from Charleston County in 2020 shows 95 per cent of all residential housing are at risk of serious flooding, with experts claiming the storm surges could have ‘devastating impacts’ to the ‘core systems which keep the city functioning’. 

The west coast of Florida is also set to be battered by the tsunami-like storm surges as Ian continues on the way towards Georgia and the Carolinas, as well as receiving rainfall of up to 8 inches. 

Edisto Beach, South Carolina, a resort destination about 30 miles south of Charleston, is expected to see a 4 to 7ft surge. 

South Carolina is expected to be hit with power outages, as 1.9million people in Florida remain without power, and Ron DeSantis warned that the entire system will have to be rebuilt. 

During a press conference on Friday, DeSantis praised the ‘herculean effort’ by authorities to help bring Floridians to safety – adding that some areas will have to be ‘rebuilt’. 

North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper urged residents to ‘take necessary precautions,’ warning of possible flooding, landslides and tornadoes and the  ‘dangerous unpredictability’ of the storm.

 He also warned of potential power outages and confirmed that he has activated members of the state’s National Guard, adding: ‘So, for North Carolinians, I want to be clear, this storm can still be dangerous and even deadly.

 The killer hurricane continues to rage across the US as:

  • DeSantis said the damage caused will take years to repair, calling Hurricane Ian ‘a 500-year flood event’;
  • Eight inches of rain could fall in southern Virginia as the storm moves inland over towards the Carolinas;
  • The NHC has warned that landslides were possible in the southern Appalachian mountains on Friday;
  • 21 people have died in Florida, likely as a result from the storm, but their causes of death are still unconfirmed.

South Carolina braces for deadly Hurricane Ian which has brought 85mph winds and life-threatening flooding in fresh trail of destruction as residents scramble to higher ground

South Carolina braces for deadly Hurricane Ian which has brought 85mph winds and life-threatening flooding in fresh trail of destruction as residents scramble to higher ground

In the event of an '100-year flood event' 86 per cent of roads would be inaccessible to emergency services

A report from Charleston County in 2020 shows that 95 per cent of all residential properties are at risk of flooding with a large storm surge

A report from Charleston County in 2020 shows that 95 per cent of all residential properties are at risk of flooding with a large storm surge, and in the event of an ‘100-year flood event’ 86 per cent of roads would be inaccessible to emergency services

A sign is posted in the widow of a shuttered H&M clothing store in the historic district as the city prepares for Hurricane Ian

A sign is posted in the widow of a shuttered H&M clothing store in the historic district as the city prepares for Hurricane Ian

SOUTH CAROLINA: North Charleston and downtown Charleston are expected to be worst hit by the flash flooding, as well as the Charleston Naval Complex

SOUTH CAROLINA: North Charleston and downtown Charleston are expected to be worst hit by the flash flooding, as well as the Charleston Naval Complex

FLORIDA: In Florida, where Ian first came ashore on Wednesday as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the US mainland, the extent of the damage caused by the hurricane became more apparent on Thursday. Pictured: Flooded houses in Fort Myers on Thursday

FLORIDA: In Florida, where Ian first came ashore on Wednesday as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the US mainland, the extent of the damage caused by the hurricane became more apparent on Thursday. Pictured: Flooded houses in Fort Myers on Thursday

FLORIDA: This aerial photo shows damaged homes and debris in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla

FLORIDA: This aerial photo shows damaged homes and debris in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla

FLORIDA: Volunteers with the Metropolitan Ministries World Central kitchen prepare sandwiches that will go to Hurricane Ian survivors in Southwest Florida

FLORIDA: Volunteers with the Metropolitan Ministries World Central kitchen prepare sandwiches that will go to Hurricane Ian survivors in Southwest Florida

FLORIDA: First responders with Orange County Fire Rescue use a boat to rescue a resident in a flooded neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on Thursday

FLORIDA: First responders with Orange County Fire Rescue use a boat to rescue a resident in a flooded neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian on Thursday

FLORIDA: Damaged buildings are seen as Hurricane Ian passed through the area on September 29, 2022 in Fort Myers Beach, Florida

FLORIDA: Damaged buildings are seen as Hurricane Ian passed through the area on September 29, 2022 in Fort Myers Beach, Florida

FLORIDA: Orange County Officials spent time rescuing dozens of pets from flooded homes, including a tiny dog wrapped in a towel

FLORIDA: Orange County Officials spent time rescuing dozens of pets from flooded homes, including a tiny dog wrapped in a towel

FLORIDA: Jonathan Strong holds his vest above the water as he wades through floodwaters while knocking on doors in a flooded mobile home community in Iona, an unincorporated community in Lee County near Fort Myers, Fla., on Thursday

FLORIDA: Jonathan Strong holds his vest above the water as he wades through floodwaters while knocking on doors in a flooded mobile home community in Iona, an unincorporated community in Lee County near Fort Myers, Fla., on Thursday

FLORIDA: People walk along the beach looking at property damaged by Hurricane Ian on Thursday in Bonita Springs, Florida

FLORIDA: People walk along the beach looking at property damaged by Hurricane Ian on Thursday in Bonita Springs, Florida

How Hurricane Ian is predicted to batter two South Carolina cities with flash flooding and storm surges TODAY

Charleston, South Carolina:

Period of tropical storm-force wind gusts: now through 9 p.m. ET

Peak winds: Gusts to 60 to 70 mph+, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET

Rainfall expected: 3 to 6 inches

Surge expected: : 4 to 7 feet (probably on the low end since it will be left of the eye)

High tide time: around 11 a.m. ET

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina:

Period of tropical storm-force wind gusts: now through 9 p.m. ET

Peak winds: Gusts to 75 to 85 mph+, 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET

Rainfall expected: 3 to 5 inches

Surge expected: : 4 to 7 feet

High Tide time: around 10 a.m. ET

Source: CNN 

SOUTH CAROLINA

Flash flood warnings are in place for the Charleston area until noon as considerable flash flooding is expected.

The national weather service is warning that band of heavy rain from the deadly storm will continue to move inland over the morning.

So far 1 to 2 inches of rain have already fallen, with an additional 2 to 6 expected as the hurricane moves across the states.

North Charleston and downtown Charleston are expected to be worst hit by the flash flooding, as well as the Charleston Naval Complex.

Residents in Folly Beach, South Carolina, have started preparing for the Hurricane by filling sandbags to stack outside their properties.

A report from the city shows 95 per cent of all residential housing are at risk of serious flooding, with experts claiming the storm surges could have ‘devastating impacts’ to the ‘core systems which keep the city functioning’.

Charleston International Airport and airfield has closed due to high winds from Hurricane Ian, and plans to reopen on Saturday at 6 a.m. ET. 

National Guard troops have been positioned in South Carolina to help with the aftermath, including any water rescues.

A spokesman for the National Hurricane Center said: ‘Tropical-storm-force winds ongoing across much of the coast of the Carolinas.

‘Life-threatening storm surge and hurricane conditions expected by this afternoon.’

Hurricane Matthew was the last hurricane to make landfall in the state, in 2016, killing 25 in North Carolina and four in South Carolina.

Gov. Henry McMaster issued no evacuations, but he said that doesn’t mean the storm isn’t dangerous, adding: ‘We know we can handle this if we use our heads and follow the rules.’

Charleston Police Department warned South Carolina residents that there are currently 24 road closures and 18 traffic lights out throughout the city.

FLORIDA: In an aerial view, damaged buildings are seen as Hurricane Ian passed through the area on Thursday in Fort Myers Beach

FLORIDA: In an aerial view, damaged buildings are seen as Hurricane Ian passed through the area on Thursday in Fort Myers Beach 

FLORIDA: Orange County Officials spent time rescuing dozens of pets from flooded homes, including two German Shepherds

FLORIDA: Orange County Officials spent time rescuing dozens of pets from flooded homes, including two German Shepherds 

FLORIDA: In an aerial view, boats are seen along side a home after Hurricane Ian passed through the area on September 29, 2022 in Fort Myers Beach, Florida

FLORIDA: In an aerial view, boats are seen along side a home after Hurricane Ian passed through the area on September 29, 2022 in Fort Myers Beach, Florida

Properties in Fort Myers are still partially submerged in water as emergency services are working towards the areas being drained

Properties in Fort Myers are still partially submerged in water as emergency services are working towards the areas being drained

FLORIDA: An old classic car sits in front of a house in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, in Fort Myers, Florida on Thursday

FLORIDA: An old classic car sits in front of a house in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, in Fort Myers, Florida on Thursday 

FLORIDA: Search and rescue personnel wade through the waters of a flooded neighborhood as they search for survivors in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, in Kissimmee

FLORIDA: Search and rescue personnel wade through the waters of a flooded neighborhood as they search for survivors in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, in Kissimmee 

FLORIDA: An alligator floats in flood waters in a neighborhood in the wake of Hurricane Ian, in Orlando, Florida

FLORIDA: An alligator floats in flood waters in a neighborhood in the wake of Hurricane Ian, in Orlando, Florida

About 233,000 still without power in Puerto Rico days after Fiona 

An estimated 233,000 homes and businesses were still without power in Puerto Rico on Friday almost two weeks after Hurricane Fiona caused an island-wide outage for its 3.3 million people.

After hitting Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, Fiona turned north and slammed into eastern Canada on Sept. 24, leaving more than a third of Nova Scotia without power.

Nova Scotia Power, a unit of Canadian energy company Emera Inc, said about 59,900 customers were without power in the province early Friday, down from about 78,200 early Thursday.

Fiona hit Puerto Rico on Sept. 18 about five years after Hurricane Maria knocked out all power on the island.

PowerOutage.us said about 233,000 customers were without service in Puerto Rico on Friday, down from around 239,000 early Thursday, based on information from LUMA Energy, which operates its grid.

That pace of restoration was much faster than after Maria – when almost all 1.5 million customers had no power for a week. At that time the now bankrupt Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) was still operating the grid.

It took PREPA about 11 months to restore power to all customers, but Maria was a much more powerful storm than Fiona.

Maria hit Puerto Rico in 2017 as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 155 miles (249 kilometers) per hour (mph), while Fiona hit as a Category 1 storm with winds of 85 mph.

LUMA Energy said it restored service to 1.212 million, or about 83% of all customers by early Friday and expects to restore service to 90% of customers in all of its service regions by Oct. 6 so long as sufficient generation is available.

LUMA is a joint venture owned by units of Canadian energy firm ATCO Ltd (50%) and U.S. energy contractor Quanta Services Inc (50%).

 Source: Reuters

FLORIDA

Ian hit the  eastern coast of Florida as one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the US mainland, with the devastation and damage becoming clear on Thursday morning. 

The aftermath of the killer storm has left at least 21 people dead in Florida, and two in Cuba, with officials fearing the death toll could still rise considerable. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis described the damage to coastal towns, including Fort Myers, as ‘indescribable’, as aerial images showed the level of destruction.

Homes had been swept away by the strong storm surges, as trees and vehicles littered the road, and boats were pushed into the marina. 

Fires broke out on several homes in Fort Myers and Sanibel Island, with the 6,300 residents being cut off from the mainland after all bridges were destroyed. 

More than 500 people were evacuated on Friday from North Port in Florida due to water continuing to rise near the Myakkahatchee Creek Environmental Park.

DeSantis said at least 700 rescues, mostly by air, were carried out on Thursday by the US Coast Guard, the National Guard and the urban search-and-rescue teams. 

The hurricane flooded homes on both the state’s coasts, destroyed a historic waterfront pier and knocked out electricity to 1.9 million Florida homes and businesses.

Authorities confirmed that the worst hit areas, Lee and Charlotte county, were completely ‘off grid’ as DeSantis said the power infrastructures across Florida would have to be completely rebuilt.

Lee County is also without water after a main line broke at their county water utility, and has only 15 per cent of their power restored so far. 

Central Florida is still set to have increased river flooding, reaching record levels, as the torrential downpours that accompanied Ian drain into major waterways.

Fort Myers suffered some of the worst damage, with homes being ripped apart and deposited along the wreckage as locals return to their broken properties. 

William Goodison, who has lived in a mobile home park in the area for 11 years, said: ‘I don’t know how anyone could have survived in there,’

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said his office was scrambling to respond to thousands of 911 calls in the Fort Myers area, but many roads and bridges were impassable.

Marceno, whose area covers Fort Myers, one of the worst affected areas by the monster storm, confirmed that he was expecting hundreds of fatalities in his jurisdiction alone.

FLORIDA: Residents in Fort Myers were met with scenes of devastation when they were able to get to the lower floors of their properties, which were left in chaos after floodwater swept through

FLORIDA: Residents in Fort Myers were met with scenes of devastation when they were able to get to the lower floors of their properties, which were left in chaos after floodwater swept through

FLORIDA: Debris has gathered in a lake near damaged properties in Fort Myers, Florida, being pushed to one side by the 155mph storm winds

FLORIDA: Debris has gathered in a lake near damaged properties in Fort Myers, Florida, being pushed to one side by the 155mph storm winds

FLORIDA: Good Samaritans are seen in Orange County trying to keep children from wading through the flash floodwater as Hurricane Ian continues to cross the state

FLORIDA: Good Samaritans are seen in Orange County trying to keep children from wading through the flash floodwater as Hurricane Ian continues to cross the state 

FLORIDA: An aerial view of damaged boats after Hurricane Ian caused widespread destruction in Fort Myers, Florida

FLORIDA: An aerial view of damaged boats after Hurricane Ian caused widespread destruction in Fort Myers, Florida

He told GMA: ‘While I don’t have confirmed numbers, I definitely know the fatalities are in the hundreds.

‘Thousands of people are waiting to be rescued, I cannot give a true assessment until we are on scene assessing each scene and we can’t access people that is the problem. 

‘This will be a life changing event for the men and women who are responding. This is a life-changing event for all of us.’

The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) says that the next 72 hours will be the most critical when it comes to rescue missions in southwest Florida.

Officials from Naples added that damage in their area alone is at least $200million, with $20million coming from damage to City property.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood predicted the recovery effort for the tsunami-life waves hitting the state will be like ‘something we’ve not seen in this county ever.’

The Sheriff’s department also confirmed that a man, 72, was found dead in water in a canal behind his home in Deltona near Daytona Beach.

He appeared to be using a hose to drain his pool into the wide canal and fell down an incline that was ‘extremely soft and slippery due to the heavy rain.’

Emergency crews sawed through toppled trees to reach stranded people, while many in the hardest-hit areas were unable to call for help because of electrical and cellular outages.

CUBA: A man repairs a traffic light in Havana as the rebuilding of the city continues in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian

CUBA: A man repairs a traffic light in Havana as the rebuilding of the city continues in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian

CUBA:  Young Cuban soldiers prepare to clean a park in Havana in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian

CUBA:  Young Cuban soldiers prepare to clean a park in Havana in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian

CUBA: Tobacco farm owner Maritza Carpio cries next to her husband Ramon Martinez while looking at their destroyed tobacco house after the passage of Hurricane Ian in San Luis, Cuba

CUBA: Tobacco farm owner Maritza Carpio cries next to her husband Ramon Martinez while looking at their destroyed tobacco house after the passage of Hurricane Ian in San Luis, Cuba

In Punta Gorda, directly in the hurricane’s path, trees, debris and power lines covered roadways, though many buildings withstood the storm’s onslaught better than feared.

Brenda Siettas, 62, a paraprofessional who works with students, was in the city in 2004 when Hurricane Charley blasted much of her neighborhood away. Buildings constructed since then are more able to survive high winds, she said.

She said: ‘They definitely built back much better since Charley. Back then I stayed here for two weeks: no power, no water, no sewer.’

CUBA

A boat carrying Cuban migrants sank Wednesday in stormy weather east of Key West.

The U.S. Coast Guard initiated a search and rescue mission for 23 people and managed to find three survivors about two miles south of the Florida Keys, officials said.

Four other Cubans swam to Stock Island, just east of Key West, the U.S. Border Patrol said. Air crews continued to search for possibly 20 remaining migrants.

The storm previously tore into Cuba, killing two people and bringing down the country’s electrical grid.

Protests have also broken out over the blackout after the hurricane, which has been days long leaving people without basic supplies.

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