Hurricane Ian update: Downgraded cyclone hits Carolina as flooding hits central Florida

Hurricane Ian is moving towards the east coast

A downgraded Hurricane Ian has brought heavy rain, flash flooding and strong winds to the Carolinas, although flooding is expected to continue in central Florida.

The National Hurricane Center said gale-force winds are expected to continue today in parts of North and South Carolina.

While the storm was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone earlier Friday, the agency warned that river flooding will continue into next week in central Florida.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden issued a state of emergency for South Carolina.

The storm hit Florida as one of the strongest hurricanes in the state’s history, with nearly Category 5 winds.

Nearly 2 million people in Florida remain without power — and economic losses could reach $120 billion, according to one estimate.

The state’s death toll also continues to rise as officials survey the damage.

On Friday morning, Kevin Guthrie, director of the state’s Department of Emergency Management, said there were reports of at least 21 deaths, adding that some of them remain unconfirmed.

About 10,000 people were missing, he said, but many of them were likely in shelters or without power.


Former GOP Candidates Promote Baseless QAnon Conspiracy Theory That Hurricane Ian Was Created To Punish DeSantis

ICYMI: Two former far-right congressional candidates said Hurricane Ian was created to punish Florida Gov. Ron DeSandis and Republican-leaning states.

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


Flooding will continue in Florida into next week

The National Hurricane Center said flooding will continue into next week in Florida.

Major river flooding is expected in parts of central Florida.

Significant flooding is also possible in parts of southeastern Virginia.


Man dies as flood water engulfs home, Volusia Sheriff says

ICYMI: A 67-year-old man died after flooding flooded his home in New Smyrna Beach, Florida Thursday night, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Department.

The man’s wife and three dogs were able to get out of the house to safety, but the victim fell and was unable to get up before being engulfed by floodwaters.

First responders tried to save him, but he was later pronounced dead.

Another man in Volusia County died overnight Wednesday into Thursday morning while draining his pool as Hurricane Ian swept through the state.

Officials have listed dozens of possible deaths across Florida, with many areas still assessing total damage.


Downgraded Ian whips the Carolinas

The National Hurricane Center has forecast heavy rainfall, flash flooding and gale-force winds as Ian moves into North Carolina.

He added that gusty winds are expected in North and South Carolina through Saturday.


Amazon delivery driver blasts orders during Hurricane Ian: ‘I hate you all’

ICYMI: An Amazon delivery driver expressed frustration about delivering packages in Florida as dangerous weather from Hurricane Ian moved into the state on Wednesday.

“Y’all know this hurricane was coming and you’re still ordering s****,” he said in a TikTok video from his Amazon delivery truck. “I have to go to 172 of you today.”

The man said in the comments that the storm didn’t directly hit his part of Florida, but it still brought some severe weather to the area.


ICYMI: The Orlando area is starting to recover from the storm

University of Central Florida students use an air mattress to escape an apartment complex in Orlando on Friday


A man pulls a canoe through flood waters at New Smyrna Beach, north of Orlando

(AFP via Getty Images)

Drone footage shows a flooded neighborhood in Orlando, Florida on Friday



The South Carolina pier collapsed

ICYMI: A pier on Pawley Island, on the north coast of South Carolina, has collapsed and is floating in the ocean, the local police department said.

The region is taking an almost immediate hit from the storm as it makes landfall on Friday afternoon and police have shared images of flooding across the island, describing it as “catastrophic”.


Biden: The largest response team in recent history

ICYMI: President Joe Biden said the federal government helped pre-deploy the largest response team in recent history to Florida as the state works to assess damage and recover from Hurricane Ian.

Rescue teams must be “in the water now,” the president said.

He said he spoke with a Coast Guard lieutenant who talked about the helicopter rescue of a 94-year-old woman and a one-month-old baby.

Parts of Southwest Florida have been completely devastated by Hurricane Ian, with many areas around Fort Myers and Port Charlotte facing severe damage. Officials are still assessing the death toll, but hundreds of people have been rescued as first responders search for survivors.


Florida woman films herself riding out Hurricane Ian in pool as storm surge engulfs neighborhood

ICYMI: A woman has shared harrowing footage of herself floating in an inflatable pool inside her home during Hurricane Ian as waves crash into windows.

“If you’ve ever floated in a floating pool in your own living room with your fridge at your door,” he said in a TikTok video.

Flood waters are an extremely dangerous place during a storm. Not only is there a risk of further flooding and possibly drowning people in their homes, but the water can pick up sharp objects and dangerous chemicals as it washes over a city.


The US Coast Guard rescued more than 275 in Florida

“We fly and operate in unrecognizable areas. There are no signs. They don’t look like they used to. Buildings that were once landmarks in the community are no longer there,” Rear Adm. Brendan McPherson told CNN on Friday.

(AFP via Getty Images)

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