Wednesday, November 30

Ian slows down as death toll from hurricane grows in Florida


The remnants of Hurricane Ian, one of the strongest and costliest storms to ever hit the US, pushed north on Saturday, promising more dangerous flooding, power outages and misery throughout the Southeast.

The storm, which has been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone after slamming into Florida and then South Carolina, has killed at least 34 people in Florida, according to official and NBC News accounts.

The National Hurricane Center has warned of record river flooding across parts of Florida, and flash, urban and small stream flooding across the central Appalachians and parts of the southern Mid-Atlantic regions through the weekend.

Ian will have maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, according to the NHC. It also said that the storm is expected to dissipate over south-central Virginia by tonight.

Rescue efforts were ongoing.

“Since this operation started for us, just hours after the storm made landfall, we’ve been able to rescue 325 people and more than 100 pets,” Rear Adm. Brendan McPherson told the Today Show on Saturday morning.

McPherson commands the Coast Guard in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

He warned that power outages were complicating rescue efforts as people in affected communities struggle without access to their mobile phones or electricity.

A pedestrian carries an umbrella during hard rain in Charleston, SCScott Olson/Getty Images

“It’s one of the biggest challenges,” he said. “Immediately after this storm we had seek and find air crews looking for people needing assistance.”

But he added that most areas that have been cut off in southwest Florida have now been accessed either by air or by urban search and rescue teams going door to door by boat.

Also Read  Man charged in abduction of jogger Eliza Fletcher kidnapped a prominent attorney in 2000

In Florida, nearly 1.3 million homes and businesses were left without power early Saturday, three days after Ian hit the state. In South Carolina, more than 62,000 customers did not have power.

Ian has threatened millions of people for most of the week, battering western Cuba before tearing across Florida from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean.

The National Hurricane Center has warned of record river flooding across parts of Florida, and flash, urban and small stream flooding across the central Appalachians and parts of the southern Mid-Atlantic regions through the weekend.

Millions in Florida were still having to cope with the impact of Ian. Distressed residents waded through knee-high water Friday in Fort Myers, one of the hardest hit areas in the state, salvaging what possessions they could from their flooded homes and loading them onto rafts and canoes.

“I want to sit in the corner and cry. I do n’t know what else to do, ”The Associated Press quoted Stevie Scuderi as saying after she shuffled through her mostly destroyed Fort Myers apartment, the mud in her kitchen sticking to her purple sandals.

In South Carolina on Friday, Ian’s center came ashore near Georgetown, a small community along the Winyah Bay about 60 miles north of historic Charleston. The storm washed away parts of four piers along the coast, including two connected to the popular tourist town of Myrtle Beach.

Weakened to a post-tropical cyclone, Ian is expected to move across central North Carolina over Saturday with maximum windspeeds of 35mph, according to the National Hurricane Center, and dissipate over south-central Virginia by tonight.

Also Read  Seth Rollins Fails to Secure WrestleMania Spot Again, Austin Theory Takes on Finn Balor

Ian will have maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, according to the NHC. It also said that the storm is expected to dissipate over south-central Virginia by tonight.

But even as Ian’s winds are expected to dissipate this evening, communities from coastal tourist towns to inland suburbs are likely to continue to experience the effects of floods caused by heavy rainfall and overflowing rivers, with sustained repair work unable to begin in earnest until the slowing of windspeed.

The storm is expected to produce a further 2 to 4 inches of rainfall on Saturday, with a maximum of six inches in parts of the central Appalachians and North Carolina.

Associated Press contributed.


www.nbcnews.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *