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115 views • September 29, 2022

Ian Regains Hurricane Strength as It Heads to South Carolina

NTD News
NTD News
PUNTA GORDA, Fla.—Ian regained hurricane strength as it spun toward South Carolina a day after devastating a cross section of Florida. The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) says the storm’s maximum sustained winds increased Thursday to 75 mph (120kph). It was centered about 240 miles (390 kilometers) south of Charleston, South Carolina, and moving northeast at 10 mph (17 kph). Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s west coast as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph (241 kph) winds. The storm flooded homes, cut off a popular barrier island and left nearly 2.7 million people without power before moving over the Atlantic and turning north. At least one man was confirmed dead in Florida, while two other people were reported killed in Cuba after the hurricane struck the island Tuesday. Aerial photos from the Fort Myers area, a few miles west of where Ian struck land, showed homes ripped from their slabs and deposited among shredded wreckage. Businesses near the beach were completely razed, leaving just twisted debris. Broken docks floated at odd angles beside damaged boats, and fires smoldered on lots where houses once stood. “We’ve never seen storm surge of this magnitude,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis told a news conference. “The amount of water that’s been rising, and will likely continue to rise today even as the storm is passing, is basically a 500-year flooding event.” After leaving Florida as a tropical storm Thursday and entering the Atlantic Ocean north of Cape Canaveral, Ian spun up into a hurricane again with winds of 75 mph (120 kph). The NHC predicted it would continue to strengthen before hitting South Carolina on Friday, but still remain a Category 1 storm. A hurricane warning was issued for the South Carolina coast and extended to Cape Fear on the southeastern coast of North Carolina. With tropical-storm force winds reaching 415 miles (667 kilometers) from its center, Ian was forecast to shove storm surge of 5 feet (1.5 meters) into coastal areas in Georgia and the Carolinas. Rainfall of up to 8 inches (20.32 centimeters) threatened flooding from South Carolina to Virginia. Sheriffs in southwest Florida said 911 centers were inundated by thousands of stranded callers, some with life-threatening emergencies. The U.S. Coast Guard began rescue efforts hours before daybreak on barrier islands near where Ian struck, DeSantis said. More than 800 members of federal urban search-and-rescue teams were also in the area. In the Orlando area, Orange County firefighters used boats to reach people in a flooded neighborhood. A photo the department posted on Twitter showed one firefighter carrying someone in his arms through knee-deep water. At an area nursing home, patients were carried on stretchers across floodwaters to a waiting bus. Among those rescued was Joseph Agboona. “We were happy to get out," he said after grabbing two bags of possessions when water rose to the windows in his Orlando home. "It was very, very bad.” In Fort Myers, Valerie Bartley’s family spent desperate hours holding a dining room table against their patio door, fearing the storm raging outside “was tearing our house apart.” “I was terrified,” Bartley said. “What we heard was the shingles and debris from everything in the neighborhood hitting our house.” The storm ripped away patio screens and snapped a palm tree in the yard, Bartley said, but left the roof intact and her family unharmed. In Fort Myers, some people left shelters to return home Thursday afternoon. Long lines formed at gas stations and a Home Depot opened, letting in a few customers at a time. Frank Pino was near the back of the line, with about 100 people in front of him. “I hope they leave something,” Pino said, “because I need almost everything.” Authorities confirmed at least one Florida death—a 72-year-old man in Deltona who fell into a canal while using a hose to drain his pool in the heavy rain, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said. Two other storm deaths were reported in Cuba. Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno said his office was scrambling to
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