As much of Florida takes stock Friday of apocalyptic damage – with searchers still checking for people in need and millions without power – deadly Hurricane Ian has begun lashing South Carolina, where an expected afternoon landfall threatens more lethal flooding and enough force to alter the coastal landscape.
In case of a weather emergency, always have your emergency kit ready…
With at least 21 deaths reported in Florida, Ian restrengthened to a Category 1 storm in the Atlantic and was barreling toward South Carolina with sustained core winds of 85 mph as of 8 a.m. ET Friday.
Its center was due to move onto land between Charleston and Myrtle Beach, forecasters said, with winds up to 73 mph already hitting much of the Carolinas’ coast and life-threatening storm surge and hurricane conditions expected within hours.
A sheriff even said Hurricane Ian ‘fatalities are in the hundreds…’
“This is a dangerous storm that will bring high winds and a lot of water,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster tweeted. “Be smart, make good decisions, check on your loved ones, and stay safe.”
Meanwhile, Florida confronts the dizzying destruction Ian wrought through much of the peninsula Wednesday and Thursday after it smashed into the southwest coast as a Category 4 storm and plowed through central and northeastern areas. Homes on the coast were washed out to sea, buildings were smashed throughout the state, and floodwater ruined homes and businesses and trapped residents, even inland in places like the Orlando area.
This is a dangerous storm that will bring high winds and a lot of water, but the most dangerous thing about it will be human error. Be smart, make good decisions, check on your loved ones, and stay safe. https://t.co/81T1jgeyei
— Gov. Henry McMaster (@henrymcmaster) September 29, 2022
Hundreds of rescues have taken place by land, air and sea, with residents stuck in homes or stranded on rooftops, and searchers have made many wellness checks, especially in the Fort Myers and Naples areas, where feet of storm surge inundated streets and homes.
And now, the storm’s aftermath poses new, deadly dangers of its own. Some standing water is electrified, officials warned, while maneuvering through debris-strewn buildings and streets – many without working traffic signals – risks injury. Lack of air conditioning can lead to heat illness, and improper generator use can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Here a live channel to follow the clash in the Carolinas…
In North Port between Fort Myers and Sarasota, Rosanna Walker stood Thursday in the flood-damaged home where she rode out the storm. Part of her drywall ceiling was hanging down.
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“And all of a sudden, the water was coming in through the doors – the top, the bottom, the windows over here,” she told CNN’s John Berman. “It’s all in my closets; I’ve got to empty out my closets.”
“Everything got ruined.” [CNN]