Miami – Hurricane Ian quickly downgraded to a post-tropical system this Friday shortly after making landfall in South Carolina as a Category 1 cyclone with maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour (mph).
According to the latest part of the US National Hurricane Center (NHC), Ian continues to offer “dangerous storm surge, flash flooding and strong winds.”
At 5:00 pm, Ian’s center was located 20 miles northwest of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and its sustained winds were now down to 70 mph.RELATED
The post-tropical cyclone is moving north near 15 mph and is forecast to move inland tonight over eastern South Carolina.
It will then move through central North Carolina tomorrow morning and into western Virginia.
It is forecast to dissipate over western North Carolina or Virginia on Saturday night, the NHC detailed.
The powerful storm, estimated to have been one of the costliest hurricanes to hit the United States, has terrified people for much of the week, battering western Cuba and causing extensive damage in central Florida before regaining strength. in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean to turn back towards land and hit South Carolina.
Although Ian’s vortex made landfall near Georgetown, South Carolina, with much weaker winds than it had when it entered Florida from the Gulf of Mexico coast, the storm caused flooding in many areas of the Charleston Peninsula, where is the center of the city. It also took parts from four piers along the coast, including two in the resort town of Myrtle Beach.
Video footage online showed seawater filling Garden City neighborhoods to calf level. As Ian moved through South Carolina on its way to North Carolina Friday night, it strengthened into a post-tropical cyclone.
There is also a risk of tornadoes in the areas where Ian will pass, which made landfall this Friday in Georgetown, South Carolina, the third time it has done so since its formation in the central Caribbean last weekend.
According to recent data, Ian, in 36 hours, went from a tropical storm to a category 4 hurricane, something that scientists attribute to climate change.
Since its formation in the central Caribbean last weekend, Ian, the fourth hurricane of 2022, has left a trail of destruction, especially in western Cuba and Florida, where it crossed the peninsula from west to east to reach the Atlantic. .
Death toll rises in Florida
The hurricane left a wide trail of destruction across Florida, flooding areas on both coasts, ripping homes off their foundations, destroying beachfront businesses and leaving more than 2 million people without power.
Many of the deaths were due to drowning, including that of a 68-year-old woman who was swept into the ocean by a wave. A 67-year-old man waiting to be rescued fell into pooled water inside his home, authorities said.
Other storm-related deaths include a 22-year-old woman who died after an off-road vehicle flipped over due to a gap in a road, and a 71-year-old man who fell from a roof while installing shutters. An 80-year-old woman and a 94-year-old man who required oxygenators also died after their equipment stopped working due to the power outages.
Three other people died in Cuba this week after Ian pummeled the island on its way north. The death toll is expected to rise substantially once authorities have a chance to search many of the hardest-hit areas.
Rescuers used boats to save thousands of people trapped in their homes by floodwaters in Florida.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said rescuers had made house-to-house visits to more than 3,000 homes in the hardest-hit areas.
“It really has been a titanic job,” he said at a news conference in Tallahassee.
Hurricane Ian has reportedly caused “well over $100 billion” in damage, including $63 billion in losses covered by private insurers, according to Karen Clark & Company, a disaster modeling firm that regularly issues estimates of sudden-onset catastrophes. If those numbers hold up, that would make Ian at least the fourth costliest hurricane in US history.
Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said first responders have so far focused on “quick” searches, aimed at emergency rescues and initial assessments, to be followed by two more waves of searches. The first rescuers who come across possible remains leave them unconfirmed, he said Friday, describing the case of a submerged home.
“The water was above the ceiling, that’s right, but we had a Coast Guard rescue swimmer swim in and he was able to identify what appeared to be human remains. We don’t know exactly how many there were,” Guthrie said.
Desperate to locate and rescue their loved ones, social media users shared phone numbers, addresses and photos of family and friends online in case anyone could see how they were doing.
Orlando residents returned to their flooded homes Friday, rolling up their pants to wade through knee-deep muddy water that covered streets. Friends of Ramón Rodríguez left ice, bottled water and hot coffee at the entrance to his subdivision, where 10 of the 50 houses were flooded and the street looked like a lake. He had no electricity or food in his house, and his car was covered in water.
“There is water everywhere,” Rodríguez commented. “The situation here is pretty bad.”