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Fort Myers, Florida: The resurgent Hurricane Ian hurtles toward South Carolina on Friday (September 30), blazing a trail of destruction across the Florida peninsula, washing away homes, destroying causeways and ripping through the state’s Gulf Coast. stranded thousands of people in

At least 21 deaths have been reported in Florida, said Kevin Guthrie, head of Florida’s emergency management division. He stressed that some of these reports remain unconfirmed. Did.

According to the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC), Ian was weakened by a tropical storm as it passed through Florida, but returned to Category 1 hurricane status on Thursday and stormed South Carolina Friday morning with maximum sustained winds of 140 kmh. was accelerating towards

The storm was expected to hit low-lying Charleston north of Charleston at 2:00 PM ET (1800 GMT), bringing potentially life-threatening floods, storm surges and windstorms. Hundreds of miles of coastline stretching from Georgia to North Carolina were under hurricane warning.

President Joe Biden said he has directed all possible actions to save lives.

“We’re just beginning to see the scale of the destruction,” Biden told reporters. “It’s likely to be among the worst.”

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

By mid-morning on Friday, drivers were ordered off roads in Charleston County and the Charleston International Airport was closed due to high winds.

The county, which has about 400,000 residents, has two shelters open and a third on standby, spokesperson Kelsey Barlow said.

“But it’s too late for people to come to shelters. A storm is coming. Everyone needs to take shelter in place and stay off the road,” Barlow said.

The eye of the storm was still hours away and the downpour had already reached Charleston. Video clips on social media showed several streets in the historic port city, particularly flood-prone, with several inches of water running through them.

A city-commissioned report released in November 2020 found that nearly 90% of all homes are vulnerable to flooding from storm surges.

Charleston Mayor John Teckenberg warned residents the danger remained high after the latest forecast showed Charleston would likely avoid a direct hit from Ian’s eye.

“While we are encouraged by the track change, we would like people to be aware that dangerous situations are still very likely in our area,” he said in a statement.

The National Weather Service has warned of a “life-threatening” storm surge along 201 kilometers of the South Carolina coast, from Palms Island near Charleston to the North Carolina border.

Still, the expected storm surge won’t be as severe as the 3.7m storm surge that hit parts of Florida’s Gulf Coast earlier this week.

“Big Wallop”

Two days after Ian first made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast in one of the most powerful storms to hit the continental United States, the extent of the damage there became more evident.

Governor Ron DeSantis said at a news conference: “Obviously it’s taken a big hit.

Guthrie said about 10,000 people are missing, many of whom may have been in shelters or had power outages. He said he expects that number to drop “organically” in the coming days.

Nearly two million homes and businesses lost power on Friday, according to tracking service

Fort Myers, a city near where the eye of the storm first landed, was hit hard and many homes were destroyed. Offshore Sanibel Island, a popular destination for vacationers and retirees, was cut off when the causeway became impassable.

Hundreds of Fort Myers residents lined up at The Home Depot, which opened on the city’s east side early Friday morning, hoping to buy gas cans, generators, bottled water and other necessities to survive. The line was the length of a football field.

Many said they felt the city and state governments were doing everything they could to help people, but the lack of communication and uncertainty about the future weighed heavily on them.

Sara Sodre Clot and Marco Martins, both 22 years old, immigrated with their family from Brazil five years ago in search of a better life than at home. They weathered the storm at their home in East Fort Myers.

“I know the government is doing everything they can, but as we can’t find an answer, we are at a loss. Will the energy return in a week? Kroto said.

Rita Chambers, a 70-year-old retiree born in Jamaica who has lived in Fort Myers since 1998, said Ian was unlike any storm she had ever seen.

“And I’ve been in the Hurricanes since I was a kid!” said Chambers, who moved to New York as a teenager.

She watched the wind and floods tear the porch from her Cape Coral home. Despite this, she said she is not thinking of leaving Florida.

“I’d rather rake sand from my house in Florida than shovel snow in New York,” she said. “If you live in paradise, you have to put up with hurricanes.” Hurricane Ian aims at Carolina after 21 deaths reported in Florida

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