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

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

Firefighters from Miami-Dade county crossed the state to assist the search for survivors, and said Friday they had rescued 42 people from barrier islands in the south-west of Florida.

The department’s urban search and rescue units, which led efforts to find trapped residents of the Surfside condominium collapse near Miami in June last year, posted photographs and a video to Twitter highlighting their efforts over the first two days of the recovery operation.

Day 1 into the operations and #MDFR FL-TF1 team members have extracted 42 trapped residents on the barrier islands. Fortunately, no serious injuries to report. Today (Day 2), we are back at the barrier islands to complete search and rescue operations to the remaining homes. #Ian https://t.co/8ht7SAeTrZ pic.twitter.com/Dl8DxdU6Sl

— MDFR Fire Chief (@MDFRChief) September 30, 2022

Interim summary

This is Richard Luscombe signing off from our hurricane blog. My colleague Dani Aguiano on the US west coast will guide you through the next few hours.

Here’s what we’ve been following:

  • Hurricane Ian made its second US landfall at Georgetown, South Carolina, shortly after 2pm. It is still a category 1 hurricane with winds of 85mph, but will weaken quickly as it moves inland.

  • The storm appears to have spared the historic South Carolina city of Charleston the worst of its fury, having made landfall about 60 miles further north than once forecast. But the city’s mayor says flooding is still expected, and more than 200,000 customers in the state are without electricity.

  • In Florida, Hurricane Ian’s death toll rose to at least 21, authorities said, and is expected to grow further. Two elderly residents in Sarasota county died when their oxygen supplies became disconnected in the storm, officials reported.

  • Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis said more than 3,000 wrecked or flooded homes in the worst hit south-west of the state had been visited by search and rescue crews, and hundreds of residents brought to safety. Dramatic footage has emerged of some of the aerial rescues.

  • More than 1.9m customers across Florida were still without electricity, DeSantis said, with some areas not expected to be reconnected for weeks while power grids are rebuilt.

  • Joe Biden said America’s heart “is literally breaking” at the apocalyptic scenes from Florida, and signed a major disaster declaration for four more counties, bringing the total to 13. The move frees federal funds for recovery and rebuilding efforts, and for individual disaster relief.

  • Biden said the hurricane was “likely to rank among worst in the nation’s history”.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, was in the path of Hurricane Ian, which has just swept ashore about 35 miles further south along the coast in Georgetown, but that didn’t stop sightseers taking walks along the boardwalk to check out the ferocious winds and crashing waves.

A waterfront webcam is showing live pictures from the beach, with pedestrians who probably shouldn’t be there dodging flying palm fronds and other debris, as the occasional emergency vehicle drives past.

Another webcam further along the waterfront is showing the view from the roof of the Sea Crest Oceanfront Resort.

City authorities are urging residents to stay indoors while the storm passes over. Numerous trees and power lines are down, and a large boat was seen foundering just offshore. It is unclear if anybody is aboard.

Footage has been released of a dramatic air rescue on Sanibel island, Florida, on Thursday, in which at least two people and three cats are seen being lifted to safety by helicopter.

Coast guard helicopters have been engaging in rescue missions almost non-stop since before daylight Thursday, after the worst of Hurricane Ian’s category 4 winds and torrential rain finally moved away from the south-west Florida coastal communities it wrecked.

Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis said on Friday that more then 3,000 homes had received visits from search and rescue crews, with hundreds of people brought to safety.

Personnel from the coast guard, teams of firefighters from around the state and country, and volunteers from the citizen Cajun Navy are among those who have been conducting rescue missions by helicopter, boat and high water vehicle.

People and pets airlifted from Hurricane Ian floodwater in Florida – video

Hurricane Ian’s deviation to the north appears to have spared the historic South Carolina city of Charleston the worst of its fury.

The category 1 storm had been expected to make landfall around Charleston at about noon, according to official forecasts, but veered slightly to the north as it closed in on land, the center of the eyewall crossing the coast at Georgetown, 60 miles away, just after 2pm.

Some flooding is still expected, Charleston’s mayor John Tecklenburg told reporters, but the storm surge appears to have been well below the 9ft once feared.

Ian came ashore at Georgetown with sustained winds of 85mph. The National Weather Service in Charleston is reporting winds in and around the city mostly well below that speed, with only two areas – Shutes Folly and Fort Sumter monument island – experiencing gusts above the 74mph hurricane force wind threshold.

The PowerOutage website reports that the number of customers in South Carolina without electricity has now risen above 200,000.

Hurricane Ian made landfall about an hour ago in Georgetown, but strong winds have been lashing coastal communities for hours, and the figure has risen steadily through the morning. Many more outages are expected.

The figures, however, pale to those in Florida, where an estimated 1.9m customers are without power.

Florida’s governor Ron DeSantis says the scale of destruction in some areas is so great that entire power grids will need to be rebuilt rather than repaired, and some customers can expect to be without electricity for weeks.

🔌 Power Outage Update 9/30:
As of 9AM EST: 1.9M+ residents are without power due to from #HurricaneIan.

42,000+ restoration personnel are working around the clock to get power restored as quickly & safely as possible. Please contact your service provider for restoration times. pic.twitter.com/ZhezcoNq4B

— FL Division of Emergency Management (@FLSERT) September 30, 2022

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.
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.

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