Hurricane Ian update: Storm downgraded to post-tropical cyclone as death toll rises in Florida

Hurricane Ian moving up East Coast

Hurricane Ian has been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone after roaring ashore as a Category 1 storm in South Carolina earlier on Friday.

The National Hurricane Center announced that the current storm has winds of 70mph and is moving inland over the Carolinas after wreaking havoc in its wake in Florida.

The storm made landfall shortly after 2 PM local time. Flooding began early in the morning in Charleston and has spread to areas like Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island as the storm moves onshore. Officials are urging residents not to leave their homes if they don’t have to, as the storm is still very dangerous.

President Joe Biden has issued an emergency declaration for South Carolina.

The storm hit Florida as one of the most powerful hurricanes in Florida’s history, with wind speeds nearly reaching Category 5.

Nearly 2 million people in Florida remain without power – and economic losses could amount to as much as $120bn, according to one estimate.

The state’s death toll also continues to rise as officials survey the damage. On Friday morning, officials reported one confirmed and 20 unconfirmed deaths in three counties. In Lee County, which saw some of the worst impacts, the sheriff has confirmed at least 16 storm-related deaths and five additional deaths.

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Myrtle Beach faces major flooding

Data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) shows major flooding along Myrtle Beach in South Carolina as Hurricane Ian makes impact.

As of Friday afternoon, it was the third-highest water level on record.

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Climate crisis is creating stronger hurricanes than ever before. here’s why

Hurricane Ian quickly strengthened into a near-Category 5 storm by the time it smacked into southwestern Florida, leaving huge areas flattened, bridges destroyed and many communities underwater.

Scientists say this kind of “rapid intensification” is related to the climate crisis, as hotter oceans can supercharge a storm – providing it with a lot of power very quickly.

As the planet heats up, hurricanes are expected to become stronger and more destructive on average.

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Hurricane Ian makes landfall in South Carolina

Ian made landfall again as a Category 1 storm near Georgetown, 60 miles north of Charleston.

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Ian downgraded to post-tropical storm

The National Hurricane Center has downgraded Ian from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone after it made landfall again in South Carolina.

“The combination of storm surge and the tide will normally cause dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline,” the NHC said in an advisory.

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South Carolina faces sea level rise risk too

Flooding from storm surge and heavy rains are hitting South Carolina on Friday with Hurricane Ian’s third landfall.

But a more long-term climate threat also poses a risk to the state’s coastline: sea-level rise.

As the planet warms, melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica are pushing sea levels higher and higher. For low-lying areas, that poses an existential risk.

In Charleston, South Carolina, the city sits so low that it will see flooding even on some sunny days during especially high tides.

That could get even worse in the coming years. By 2150, under even the lowest possible emissions scenario, Charleston will see nearly three feet (one metre) of sea level rise, according to Nasa, putting much of downtown underwater.

Under the worst-case scenario, the city could see nearly eight ft (2.36 m) of sea level rise in that time.

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What path is Hurricane Ian taking?

Ian roared ashore as a Category 1 storm near Georgetown, South Carolina with sustained winds of 85 miles per hour.

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Former GOP candidates push baseless QAnon conspiracy theory that Hurricane Ian was created to punish DeSantis

Two former far-right former congressional candidates have said that Hurricane Ian was created to punish Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Republican-leaning states.

Lauren Witzke, the GOP candidate for US Senate in Delaware in 2020 said that “technology exists to manipulate weather” and suggested that conservative the storm targeted Florida for promoting political ideas.

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People rescued from building as floods take Myrtle Beach

The Myrtle Beach Fire Department rescues people from the second floor of a building as flood from Hurricane Ian overtake the city on Friday

(AP)

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More than 215,000 customers without power in South Carolina

According to poweroutage.us 2125, 787 customers in South Carolina were without power as of 4.25pm ​​ET.

“Crews will be working around the clock to get the lights back on as quickly and safely as possible,” Dominion Energy said in a tweet on Friday blaming downed trees for a lot of the issues.

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Fox News anchor forgets Puerto Rico is part of the US in Hurricane Ian segment

A Fox News anchor was talking about hurricane impacts in Cuba and Puerto Rico when she said “Thank God we have better infrastructure in our country.”

People on social media took her to task for failing to note Puerto Rico, which was slammed by Hurricane Fiona earlier this month, is part of the United States.

Hurricane Ian hit Cuba this week before barreling into southwest Florida. Large parts of both Cuba and Florida are without power as people recover from the storm.

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