December 6, 2022

Ian was downgraded to a post-tropical storm after battering South Carolina and killing at least 45 people in Florida.

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Ian Later downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone Friday afternoon in South Carolina After packing destructive winds and life-threatening storm surge, and killing at least 45 people in Florida, the disaster left a trail of destruction.

The storm, which made landfall near Georgetown as a Category 1 hurricane, has sustained winds of 70 mph as it moves inland over the Carolinas.

“It should be emphasized that the danger is not over as Ian becomes a post-tropical hurricane,” the National Hurricane Center warned. “Dangerous storm surge, flash flooding and high winds are still in the forecast for this hurricane.”

Reports of property damage, power outages and water rescue calls have multiplied as officials across the state continue to issue dire warnings to residents to stay indoors.

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A tornado warning was issued from the Savannah River on the Georgia-South Carolina state line to Cape Fear, North Carolina. Substantial flooding from seawater and rain is possible, especially in parts of coastal South Carolina Storm surge 7 feet and 4 to 12 inches of rain is possible. Forecasters say.

According to the Storm Prediction Center, a tornado watch is in effect for the Carolinas and parts of Virginia, including Myrtle Beach, Wilmington, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, covering about five million people until 10 p.m.

more than More than 200,000 power outages were reported in South Carolina, and more than 138,000 outages were reported in North Carolina by 3:50 pm ET. In Virginia, more than 17,000 customers lost power, mostly in the eastern and southern parts of the state.

Additionally, two piers in South Carolina — the Cherry Grove Pier in North Myrtle Beach and the Pawleys Island Pier north of Charleston — partially collapsed Friday because of the storm.

Pawleys Island Mayor Brian Henry told CNN that the two causeways connecting the island to the mainland had receded. No one will be allowed back on the island until the damage is assessed, Henry said, adding that “there is a huge amount of debris scattered across the island on the roads”.

“It’s a pretty scary scene,” Myrtle Beach Mayor Brenda Bethune said of Hurricane Ian. “I see a lot of cars go by. I don’t think people realize how dangerous it is to be out in these types of situations. We’ve seen many people’s cars get stuck and emergency personnel go out and save people.

Shelters in Charleston County will remain open Saturday until 4 p.m., the county said in a news release. Buses will begin taking people from the shelters to their original pick-up locations on Saturday morning.

“Many prayers have been answered,” South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster said. “This storm isn’t as bad as it could have been, but don’t let your guard down just yet. We’re not out of the woods, there’s water on the roads, there’s still strong winds, and it’s still dangerous in many parts of the state.

Charleston International Airport’s airfield was closed Friday due to high winds said. And Myrtle Beach residents are being asked to stay inside during the storm, Mayor Brenda Bethune told CNN.

Beaches in Georgia and South Carolina could sustain significant changes as powerful waves and storm surges brought by Ian could inundate coastal sand dunes. US Geological Survey.

Besides inundating communities behind dunes, storms can push sand back and deposit it inland, which can “reduce the height of protective sand dunes, alter beach profiles and make areas behind dunes more vulnerable to future storms,” ​​the agency said. .

Meanwhile, Florida continues to grapple with Ion’s whirlwind destruction through much of the peninsula after battering the southwest coast on Wednesday and Thursday. Category 4 storm and cultivated in the central and northeastern regions.

At least 45 deaths have been reported in the state. Homes along the coast were swept out to sea, buildings were demolished across the state, and floodwaters destroyed homes and businesses, as well as stranded residents inland in places like the Orlando area.

Hundreds of rescues have taken place by land, air and sea, with residents trapped in houses or on rooftops, and searchers have carried out numerous health checks, particularly Fort Myers And in parts of Naples, storm surges inundated streets and homes.

Roger Desjarlais, manager of Lee County, which includes Fort Myers, told CNN Friday that Hurricane Ian had devastated parts of the area and that it was “not an exaggeration to say there should be a lot of casualties.”

“It looked like someone took the hotels and buildings out of the sky and took them away. So there wasn’t even debris in many places,” Desjarlais said. “We also know that not as many people were evacuated from those islands as we expected. We know there must be many more casualties to be accounted for.

President Joe Biden has continued to pledge federal support as Florida deals with the storm’s devastation, saying it is “likely to rank among the worst in the nation’s history.”

“We’re just starting to see the scale of that devastation,” Biden said, adding that the largest team of search and rescue experts “in recent history” has been sent to the state. “It will take months, years to rebuild.”

Now, the aftermath of the storm presents its own new, deadly dangers. Some stagnant water is electrified, officials warned, while maneuvering debris-strewn buildings and streets — many without traffic signals — can cause injuries. Lack of air conditioning can lead to heat illness, and improper generator use can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

In North Harbor, between Fort Myers and Sarasota, Rosanna Walker stood at a flood-damaged home Thursday where she had just weathered the storm. Part of her drywall ceiling was hanging down.

“All of a sudden, water came in through the doors — top, bottom, windows,” he told CNN. “Everything is in my wardrobe; I need to empty my cupboards.

“Everything is ruined.”

Claudette Smith, public information officer for the sheriff’s office in Charlotte County, north of Fort Myers, told CNN the county desperately needs help as emergency services continue to be overwhelmed.

“We need everything, to put it plain and simple. We need all hands,” Smith said. “Our rescuers have been very helpful, but we need everything.”

Many members of the community are without houses, water and electricity, and there is currently only one hospital in the county.

Here’s what to know about the devastation in Florida:

• Deaths in Florida: At least 45 suspected Ian-related deaths have been reported in Florida, including 16 in Lee County, 12 in Charlotte County, eight in Collier County, Four in Volusia County, one in Polk County, one in Lake County, one in Manatee County and two in unincorporated Sarasota County, officials said. Cases of unconfirmed deaths are processed by local medical examiners, who decide whether they are disaster-related, state Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said.

• Power interruptions: Florida had more than 1.6 million power outages as of Friday afternoon The Southwest has the most counties with the highest percentage of residents without electricity, including Lee, Charlotte, DeSoto and Hardy.

• Historic flooding in Florida: Record flooding was reported across central and northern Florida At least three rivers Hit all-time flood records. Officials in Orlando warned residents of dangerous flooding that exceeded a foot in some areas.

• Hundreds of rescues and thousands of evacuations: The US Coast Guard has conducted more than 275 rescues in Florida, Rear Admiral Brendan McPherson told CNN. There have been more than 700 rescues across Florida so far, the governor said Thursday, and thousands of evacuations have been reported. In Lee County, a hospital system had to evacuate more than 1,000 patients after its water supply was cut off, while other widespread evacuations were reported. Prisons And Hospital. In Fort Myers, the fire chief was “pretty comfortable” by Friday morning, where everyone who needed help had been rescued, Mayor Kevin Anderson said. The Coast Guard is treating it as a military operation, searching “in batches to make sure everyone gets out.”

Much of Fort Myers Beach was destroyed: A Helicopter flight Fort Myers shows the devastation along the coast: empty or trashed lots where homes and businesses used to be, and boats pushed into the mangroves. “You speak of no system. … You’re talking about houses thrown into the bay. This is a long-term solution and it can change lives,” said Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno.

• Offshore islands isolated from mainland: The islands of Sanibel and Captiva in southwest Florida were cut off from the mainland after parts of a critical causeway tore away. At least two people were killed in the Sanibel storm, and local officials said the bridge must be completely rebuilt. Chip Farrar lives on the small island of Matlacha. told CNN A 50-foot road essential to reach the mainland bridge has been washed away and a second bridge nearby has also collapsed.

• Insured losses in Florida can be huge: Iain could have caused up to $47 billion in insured losses in Florida, according to estimates by asset analysis firm CoreLogic. Second costliest storm in state history When adjusting for inflation after Hurricane Andrew in 1992.