Ian to make second US landfall as Florida death toll rises | Weather News

A revival Hurricane Ian is making landfall north before making its second scheduled landfall in the United States, a day after the storm created a path of devastation across the central region. Florida prompting rescue teams to race to reach residents stranded along the state’s Gulf Coast.

The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said Ian, which weakened to a tropical storm during its march over Florida, was upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane as it moved across the Atlantic Ocean towards South Carolina on Wednesday. Six, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The storm – forecast to make landfall near Charleston, South Carolina, around 2 p.m. (18:00 GMT) – bringing maximum sustained winds of 140 kilometers per hour (85 mph), as well as flooding Floods and storm surges can be life-threatening.

Officials in Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina have urged residents to prepare for dangerous conditions.

Kelsey Barlow, a spokeswoman for Charleston County, which has more than 400,000 residents, said the county has two shelters open and a third on standby. “But it was too late for people to get to shelters,” she said.

“The storm has come. People need to shelter in place, away from traffic routes.”

A storm that could rise more than 2.1 meters, together with a midday high tide, could bring another 1.8 meters of water, causing severe flooding, Barlow said.

As the eye of the storm was still hours away, torrential rain reached Charleston. Video clips on social media showed some streets in the historic port city, which are particularly prone to flooding, with up to several inches of water.

Ian went to the upper shore Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast was a monstrous Category 4 hurricane, one of the strongest hurricanes ever to make landfall in the United States.

It flooded homes on both coasts of the state, cut off the only road to a barrier island, destroyed a historic waterfront dock and cut power to 2.6 million homes and facilities. business in Florida – nearly a quarter of customers use utility service.

Authorities in the US state released their first death toll estimates on Friday, as power outages and lack of cell phone service in many areas made it impossible to reach people cut off by floodwaters. outages, downed power lines and debris, or evaluate the entire range. storm damage.

Kevin Guthrie, director of Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, said the storm has caused at least 21 confirmed and unconfirmed deaths to date.

Among the dead were an 80-year-old woman and a 94-year-old man living on an oxygen machine that stopped working amid a power outage, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said. At New Smyrna Beach, a 67-year-old man awaiting emergency treatment died after falling into rising water inside his home, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said.

On Thursday, US President Joe Biden warned that Ian could prove to be the deadliest hurricane in Florida history, saying preliminary reports suggest “significantly“Lost life.

Biden approved a disaster declaration, providing federal resources for hurricane-affected areas. Nearly 2,000 federal emergency responders were deployed to Florida within 24 hours of the first storm’s landfall, White House speak.

Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Deanne Criswell will arrive in Florida on Friday.

Meanwhile, rescue crews sailed and waded through riverside streets to save thousands of Floridians trapped between flooded homes and damaged buildings by the storm.

Governor Ron DeSantis said at least 700 rescues, mostly by air, were conducted on Thursday, in operations involving the US Coast Guard, the Coast Guard, and the US Coast Guard. National and urban search and rescue teams.

“There is really a Herculean effort,” he said at a news conference Friday in the state capital Tallahassee, adding that rescue teams had gone door-to-door to more than 3,000 homes in those areas. hardest hit.

‘We are feeling lost’

Guthrie at the Division of Emergency Management said about 10,000 people are unconfirmed statewide, but many of them are likely to be in shelters or without power, leaving relatives or local officials cannot be checked.

He said he expects the number to drop “organically” in the coming days.

Fort Myers, a city close to where the eye of the storm first made landfall, took a major hit, with many homes destroyed. Businesses near the beach were completely razed, leaving twisted debris, while broken docks drifted at odd angles next to damaged boats.

Hundreds of besieged Fort Myers residents lined up at a Home Depot that opened early Friday in the city’s east, hoping to buy gas cans, generators, bottled water and other supplies.

A long line outside a Home Depot store in Florida after Hurricane Ian
People line up outside the Home Depot as they wait to buy generators and other supplies, in Cape Coral, Florida, September 30, 2022 [Marco Bello/Reuters]

Many said they felt city and state governments were doing everything they could to help residents but said a lack of communication and uncertainty about how they would continue to live in the area were pressing down on them. heavy on them.

Sarah Sodre-Crot and Marco Martins, a married couple and both 22 years old, who immigrated from Brazil with their families five years ago, said they weathered the storm at their home east of Fort Myers.

“I know the government is doing all it can, but we feel lost, like there are no answers. Will the energy return in a week? In a month? We just wanted to know so we could plan out our lives a little bit,” says Sodre-Crot.

According to the tracking service, about two million homes and businesses were still without power on Friday.


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