United Kingdom

Hurricane Ian latest updates: storm makes second US landfall in South Carolina

Hurricane Ian makes landfall in South Carolina

The national hurricane center says Hurricane Ian has made landfall in South Carolina.

Update: Surface observations indicate that the center of #Hurricane #Ian made landfall on Sep 30 at 205 pm EDT (1805 UTC) near Georgetown, South Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 km/h) and an
estimated minimum central pressure of 977 mb (28.85 inches). pic.twitter.com/TNk43VBHUG

— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 30, 2022

The eye of the hurricane has sped ashore near Georgetown and is now hurtling inland, pushing maximum sustained winds of 85mph.

With torrential rain and howling winds, the storm is set to ravage South Carolina and is already causing hazardous conditions and flooding further north.

Key events

Sarasota county sheriff Kurt Hoffman says Hurricane Ian is the worst he’s seen in his career stretching back to the 1980s.

“This is a significant and catastrophic storm,” Hoffman says in a video posted to YouTube on Friday.

“I’ve lived in this community for over four decades and I have never seen a storm of this strength that has done this much damage.”

The Sarasota, Florida, sheriff’s office has recorded two deaths so far related to the storm, both elderly residents who relied on oxygen supplies that were disabled. The incidents were unrelated.

“Our thoughts are with the loved ones of these two individuals and with all others impacted by this catastrophic weather event,” the sheriff’s office said in a tweet.

Several media outlets have inquired about the impacts of #HurricaneIan including if any fatalities have been reported. We unfortunately share that our agency was notified of two deaths in unincorporated Sarasota County that appear to be related to this catastrophic weather event. pic.twitter.com/T5AzRldDnD

— SarasotaSheriff (@SarasotaSheriff) September 30, 2022

Hurricane Ian makes landfall in South Carolina

The national hurricane center says Hurricane Ian has made landfall in South Carolina.

Update: Surface observations indicate that the center of #Hurricane #Ian made landfall on Sep 30 at 205 pm EDT (1805 UTC) near Georgetown, South Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 km/h) and an
estimated minimum central pressure of 977 mb (28.85 inches). pic.twitter.com/TNk43VBHUG

— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 30, 2022

The eye of the hurricane has sped ashore near Georgetown and is now hurtling inland, pushing maximum sustained winds of 85mph.

With torrential rain and howling winds, the storm is set to ravage South Carolina and is already causing hazardous conditions and flooding further north.

Biden: ‘America’s heart is literally breaking’

Joe Biden says the federal government will be with Florida and its residents “every step of the way” as the state begins its recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Ian.

In an address from the White House, the president has just said America’s heart “is literally breaking” at the apocalyptic scenes:

We’re just beginning to see the scale that destruction is likely to rank among the worst of the nation’s, and the worst in the nation’s history.

You have all seen on television homes and property wiped out. It’s gonna take months years to rebuild. And our hearts go out to all those folks whose lives have been absolutely devastated by the storm.

America’s heart is literally breaking just watching people, watching on television. I just want the people of Florida to know, we see what you’re going through and we’re with you. We’re going to do everything we can for you.

Biden on Thursday signed a major disaster declaration for the nine worst-hit counties in Florida, freeing more federal resources and funds for relief and recovery efforts that will cost in the billions.

He announced today he was adding four more counties for individual disaster relief:

What that means is the federal government is covering every cost, 100% of the cost to clear the massive debris left in the wake of the hurricane in these counties.

And all needs to be cleared out for communities to begin the hard work of trying to get back on their feet.

That declaration also means that we will cover all the extra cost for emergency personnel who are saving lives and providing for public safety.

Biden: Hurricane Ian ‘likely to rank among worst in the nation’s history’

Joe Biden is addressing the public now and warning that the hurricane that’s devastated a large swath of Florida and is barreling towards South Carolina is likely to be one of America’s worst.

Watch the Biden feed we have live in this blog.

The eye of the hurricane is just off South Carolina and landfall is imminent.

The US’s Small Business Administration has made available various disaster loans to businesses, nonprofit organizations and residents across Florida following the damages caused by Hurricane Ian.

On Wednesday, president Joe Biden authorized the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist individuals with property losses and housing repairs.

“Folks in Florida who have destroyed or damaged homes — if you don’t have enough insurance, it means the federal government will provide individual assistance of $37,900 for home repairs, another $37,900 for lost property — everything from an automobile to a lost wedding ring. And that’s what we mean by ‘lost property,’” the president said on Wednesday at FEMA headquarters in Washington DC.

In Puerto Rico, an estimated 233,000 homes and businesses are still without power 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 September 24, leaving more than a third of Nova Scotia without power, Reuters reports.

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.

Aftermath of Hurricane Fiona in Puerto Rico. File photo: Cars drive under a downed power pole in the aftermath of Hurricane Fiona in Santa Isabel, Puerto Rico September 21, 2022. Photograph: Ricardo Arduengo/Reuters

Joe Biden is due to make remarks soon about recovery efforts related to the hurricane.

The US president was going to speak at 11.30am ET, but got held up at the event at the supreme court, where Ketanji Brown Jackson had her investiture ceremony.

So he went then to a Rosh Hashanah event at the White House first and will be back in front of the cameras, hopefully, in the next 15 minutes or so.

We know the families of Florida are hurting. And our entire country hurts with them.

We’re going to build Florida back, no matter how long it takes. pic.twitter.com/Pz7Dee69Fe

— President Biden (@POTUS) September 30, 2022

Videos emerge of strong winds and floods in Charleston, South Carolina

Videos have emerged of strong winds and floods in Charleston as the city braces for Hurricane Ian which is expected to make landfall in South Carolina at around noon local time today.

Lee and Charlotte counties in Florida have around 15% of their power restored, governor Ron DeSantis said at a news briefing on Friday morning.

“There is going to be some that require rebuilds,” DeSantis said, adding that the utilities in those counties plan to carry out the restoration process as soon as possible.

Hardee county is still one of the hardest hit areas with 99% of its residents currently in the dark, said the governor.

Hurricane Ian is accelerating towards the South Carolina coast, the National Hurricane Centre warned in its 11am advisory update.

“Ian is moving toward the north near 14 mph (22 km/h). Ian is forecast to move more quickly toward the north today followed by a turn toward the north-northwest by tonight,” the advisory said.

“On the forecast track, the center of Ian will reach the coast of South Carolina today, and then move farther inland across eastern South Carolina and central North Carolina tonight and Saturday,” it added.

Maximum sustained winds remain near 85 mph or 140 km/h with higher gusts. The NHC forecasts that Ian will maintain about the same strength before it makes landfall later today and then weaken and rapidly transition into a post-tropical cyclone overnight.

The damages and losses caused by the hurricane will likely range from $25bn to $40bn for Florida, according to credit ratings agency Fitch Ratings.

“Based on our initial analysis, insured losses could range from $25 billion-$40 billion for Florida, which could increase depending on the effect of the storm in the Carolinas. This compares to Hurricane Katrina’s $65 billion in 2005, winter storm Uri – $15 billion in 2021 and Hurricane Ida – $36 billion in 2021,” it said.

An aerial view of damaged properties after Hurricane Ian caused widespread destruction, in Fort Meyers, Florida on Friday.
An aerial view of damaged properties after Hurricane Ian caused widespread destruction, in Fort Meyers, Florida on Friday. Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

Some airports across Florida are starting to open up with limited operations.

Orlando International Airport announced that commercial lights will resume at noon today.

“This decision was made after a thorough investigation of any property damage and a careful consideration for the safety and security of the traveling public and airport employees,” it said in a statement.

Tampa International Airport resumed commercial operations around 40 minutes ago, the airport announced.

“Friday’s 10am reopening for departing and arriving flights will give the airport and its partners such as the FAA, the TSA, airlines, and others time to take necessary steps for the safe resumption of business,” it said.

Jacksonville International Airport said that it will be open on Friday with limited food services and that some airlines will operate on ‘reduced schedules.”

Meanwhile, in South Carolina, Charleston International Airport announced that it has closed its airfield due to high winds from the hurricane and plans to reopen on Saturday at 6am.

Charleston International Airport airfield has closed due to high winds from Hurricane Ian. The airfield plans to reopen Saturday, October 1, at 6 a.m.

For additional questions regarding upcoming flights, please contact your airline. pic.twitter.com/iDg1Ar5h2d

— Charleston International Airport (@iflyCHS) September 30, 2022

Disney World reopens to visitors

Disney World is back open after being closed Wednesday and Thursday as Hurricane Ian passed through Orlando. Guests had been instructed to hunker down in hotel rooms until the storm passed. Universal Studios also said that it will reopen today.

Videos of Disney World this morning show the theme park seemingly operating as normal under a blue sky. One Twitter user posted a canopy that appeared to be broken by the storm.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, Universal Studios began calling employees back into work Thursday night to prepare for Friday’s reopening.

Florida hurricane death toll rises to 21 as South Carolina prepares for landfall

The death toll from Hurricane Ian has risen to 21 deaths – most yet to be confirmed by officials to be related to the storm, Kevin Guthrie, director of Florida’s emergency management department, said at a press conference.

Officials have confirmed one death in Polk county near Orlando, but the 20 other deaths still need to be confirmed. Guthrie explained that officials need time to determine whether the deaths were directly disaster-related. The 20 unconfirmed deaths were from Charlotte and Collier counties near Fort Myers, what officials are calling “ground zero” of the destruction.

Rescuers have completed their initial, quick search for living survivors and are starting more detailed search efforts that will likely see the death toll rising, Guthrie said.

Meanwhile, South Carolina is hunkering down as Hurricane Ian heads toward land once again. The Charleston airport closed its runways this morning in anticipation of the storm making landfall later today. The forecast says Ian will likely touch down on the state in the afternoon.

Florida county without water after water main break

Lee county, which covers Fort Myers in south-west Florida, does not have running water after a water main break at its utility, Florida governor Ron DeSantis said at a press conference. The county is home to over 750,000 residents.

DeSantis said that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Army Corp of Engineers are in the county assessing the situation. It is unclear when water will return to residents, though DeSantis called it a “top priority”.

Lee County has had a water main break at the county water utility. “That means that the county does not have water at this point,” said @GovRonDeSantis at AM news conference. @KevinGuthrieFl requested support from @fema , and Army Corps of Engineers are working to restore water.

— Mary Ellen Klas (@MaryEllenKlas) September 30, 2022

Thousands of people are trapped in flooded homes in Florida after Hurricane Ian left severe damage in the state. Governor Ron DeSantis yesterday said that least 700 rescues have been conducted so far, mostly by air.

Sheriffs in the south-western part of the state, which was in the direct path of the storm, told the Associated Press that they were receiving thousands of calls from those stranded in their homes.

Before the storm hit, the state asked residents who sheltered in place to fill out a survey, allowing officials to have demographic information should areas become hard for rescuers to access. The state yesterday said they had over 15,000 responses from residents who sheltered in place during the storm.

In its 8am update on Hurricane Ian, the National Weather Service said Ian will probably not strengthen much as it approaches South Carolina. The storm’s maximum sustained winds are near 85mph (140km/h). The storm is forecast to reach the South Carolina coast today (Friday), and then move north-east toward central North Carolina Friday night and Saturday morning.

Some South Carolina residents are starting to feel the storm’s effects. Nearly 10,000 are without power as the storm approaches. Hurricane warnings are in effect along the coast of the entire state.

Hurricane Ian approaches South Carolina

Tropical Storm Ian, which battered Florida as a hurricane on Wednesday, is gaining new strength as it approaches South Carolina today.

Forecasts say landfall could take place this afternoon. The entire coast of South Carolina is under a hurricane warning. Once it makes landfall, Ian is expected to weaken back to a tropical storm as it makes its way across the southeastern US. The hurricane will be the first to directly hit South Carolina since Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Meanwhile, Florida is still assessing the mass of damages from Ian, mostly from flooding that the hurricane left in its wake. At least a dozen deaths have been reported, though officials across the states are still working to calculate the death toll. Yesterday, Joe Biden said the hurricane could prove the deadliest in Florida’s history. Over 2m people who were in the hurricane’s path are still without power.

We’re going to be tracking Tropical Storm Ian as it re-approaches land and providing updates on what Ian left behind in Florida. Stay tuned.




Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button