Ian regains hurricane strength as it heads into South Carolina;  laid to soak NC Friday

Ian regains hurricane strength as it heads into South Carolina; laid to soak NC Friday

RALEIGH, NC (WTVD) — Tropical storm warnings are now in effect for much of central North Carolina as Ian continues on his way to the Tar Heel State.

Late Thursday afternoon, Ian regained Category 1 hurricane status and was expected to make landfall Friday afternoon near Charleston, South Carolina as a hurricane.

The storm continued to move north-northeast at 9 mph.

This all comes after the storm devastated Florida, knocking out power to more than 2 million people and killing several people.


Gusty winds began picking up in North Carolina on Thursday. Gusts could be around 20 miles per hour throughout Thursday, which means people should go ahead and secure loose items outside.

The rain will not start until late Thursday or early Friday morning.

Friday will be a complete washout with pretty much all of North Carolina experiencing heavy rain during an approximately 6 p.m. window.

In central North Carolina, heavy rain will likely begin before the morning commute and last well into the evening. However, by late Friday evening most of the rain will have ceased.

Saturday will include a few scattered showers, especially in the morning.

What to expect

Most people in central North Carolina can expect to see tropical storm conditions, which means heavy rain and high winds.

ABC11 meteorologist Kweilyn Murphy said central North Carolina can expect 3 to 7 inches of rain from Ian.

Flooding will not be widespread, but localized flooding is possible in areas that experience heavy downpours.

There is also isolated tornado risk, primarily south and east of the Triangle.

Big Weather Hurricane Emergency Kit

Wind gusts could sometimes reach 40 miles per hour. It’s strong enough to lift and move some unsecured objects.

Tropical storm warnings are also in effect along the North Carolina coast from the South Carolina border to Morehead City. A storm surge warning is not yet in effect in North Carolina.

North Carolina prepares for Ian

Governor Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Wednesday ahead of the arrival of the remnants of Hurricane Ian.

Cooper is due to update on preparations at 3 p.m. ABC11 will broadcast this update live on TV and in all of our apps.

North Carolina’s Excessive Pricing Law Against Emergency Overcharging is also in effect statewide.

Cooper also authorized the activation of approximately 80 members of the North Carolina National Guard to assist as needed.

Duke Energy officials said they have kept their North Carolina crews home in case we see widespread outages. They have spent the last two days improving the network and securing the equipment, so in the event of a breakdown, they will be able to react quickly.

“We expect to see outages. We continue to monitor where they will be. But it’s definitely a real storm. People should take it seriously until it’s out of the area and we can moving forward,” said Jeff Brooks, Duke Energy. .

Right now, they say they have three major concerns: wind, rain and flooding.

“It’s just kind of a storm on deck. It’s going to be a historic storm. The damage we’re seeing in some areas, the whole system will have to be rebuilt. Those are the kind of conditions they’re facing We’re thankful we don’t see that here. But we could still see a lot of outages,” Brooks said.

If you experience an outage in your home, Duke Energy wants you to report it. You can text the word OUT to 57801, use the Duke energy app, or call them at 800.769.3766.

Once the storm clears the area, Duke Energy will reassess and assign crews based on the hardest hit areas.

Meanwhile, home repair experts suggest homeowners take time before Ian arrives to prep their homes and check their insurance.

WATCH: Residents of Triangle floodplains ‘nervous’ about Ian

Destruction in Florida

Hurricane Ian left a path of destruction in southwest Florida, trapping people in flooded homes, damaging the roof of a hospital intensive care unit and knocking out power to 2 million people before aiming for the Atlantic coast.

One of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the United States crossed the Florida peninsula overnight Wednesday, threatening catastrophic flooding inland, the National Hurricane Center has warned.

The center’ said Ian became a tropical storm over land early Thursday and is expected to emerge over Atlantic waters near Kennedy Space Center later today. Torrential rains continued across the state and part of the Gulf Coast remained inundated with seawater, pushed ashore by the massive storm.

“Severe and life-threatening storm surges 8 to 10 feet above ground level and damaging waves continue along the southwest coast of Florida from Englewood to Bonita Beach, including Charlotte Harbor” , the center said.

In Port Charlotte, along Florida’s Gulf Coast, storm surge flooded a lower-level emergency room at a hospital even as high winds ripped off part of the roof of its intensive care unit , according to a doctor who works there.

Water gushed over the ICU, forcing staff to evacuate the hospital’s sickest patients — some of whom were on ventilators — to other floors, said Dr. Birgit Bodine of HCA Florida Fawcett Hospital. . Staff members used towels and plastic bins to try and mop up the soggy mess.

The medium-sized hospital spans four floors, but patients have only been forced to two due to the damage. Bodine planned to spend the night there in case people injured by the storm arrived and needed help.

“As long as our patients are doing well and no one ends up dying or having a bad outcome, that’s what matters,” Bodine said.

Law enforcement officials in nearby Fort Myers have received calls from people trapped in flooded homes or worried relatives. Pleas were also posted on social media sites, some with video showing debris-covered water lapping towards the eaves of homes.

More than 250 people have been rescued in Orlando as the city experienced “historic flooding” from Hurricane Ian, according to Orlando Chief Charlie Salazar.

A total of 91 people were rescued from the Maxwell apartment complex and 175 people were rescued from the Dockside apartment complex, Chief Salazar said. The city received 14 inches of water from the storm, according to Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.

About 25% of Orlando remains without power, Dyer said. The floods affected the entire city, with a number of lakes and other bodies of water “out of bounds”, according to the mayor.

Crews will continue to assess storm damage in Orlando as the city prepares for more rain in the coming days. Search and rescue missions will continue.

WATCH: Early warning for hurricane season

Brittany Hailer, a reporter in Pittsburgh, contacted rescuers about her mother in North Fort Myers, whose home was flooded in 1.5 meters of water.

“We don’t know when the water is going to go down. We don’t know how they’re going to leave, their cars are exhausted,” Hailer said. “His only way out is on a boat.”

Hurricane Ian turned streets into rivers and downed trees as it slammed into southwest Florida on Wednesday with winds of 150 mph (241 kph), pushing a wave wall of storm. Ian’s strength on landfall was Category 4 and tied it to the fifth strongest hurricane, measured by wind speed, to ever hit the United States.

Ian fell into a tropical storm early Thursday over land but is expected to intensify again once its center moves over the Atlantic Ocean and threatens the South Carolina coast Friday at a force close to that of a hurricane. Storm surges up to 6 feet (2 meters) were expected on both sides of the peninsula.

As of 5 a.m. Thursday, the storm was about 40 miles (70 km) southeast of Orlando and 35 miles (55 kilometers) southwest of Cape Canaveral, carrying maximum sustained winds of 65 mph ( 100 km/h) and moving towards the course at 8 mph (13 km/h), the Miami-based hurricane center said.

Hurricane warnings have been reduced to tropical storm warnings for the Florida peninsula, with widespread catastrophic flooding remaining likely, the hurricane center said.

Tropical storm-force winds extended up to 400 miles (665 km) from the center, and most of the state was drenched, with up to 30 centimeters of rain forecast for parts of northeast Florida, the coast of Georgia and the South Carolina Lowcountry. Up to six inches could fall in southern Virginia as the storm moves inland over the Carolinas, the center said.

No deaths were reported in the United States by Ian on Wednesday evening. But a boat carrying Cuban migrants sank Wednesday in stormy weather east of Key West.

The US Coast Guard launched a search and rescue mission for 23 people and managed to locate three survivors about two miles (three kilometers) south of the Florida Keys, officials said. Four other Cubans swam to Stock Island, just east of Key West, US Border Patrol said. Air crews continued to search for possibly 20 remaining migrants.

The storm had already hit Cuba, killing two people and destroying the country’s power grid.

The eye of the hurricane made landfall near Cayo Costa, a barrier island just west of heavily populated Fort Myers. As it approached, water flowed out of Tampa Bay.

More than 2 million homes and businesses in Florida have been left without power, according to PowerOutage.us. Almost all homes and businesses in three counties were without power.

Charlotte County Sheriff Bull Prummell, just north of Fort Myers, announced a curfew between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. ‘for vital purposes’, saying violators could face misdemeanor charges. second degree.

“I am enacting this curfew as a way to protect people and property in Charlotte County,” Prummell said.

Storm surges and life-threatening hurricane conditions were possible Thursday and Friday along the coasts of northeast Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, where Ian was expected to move inland , dumping more rain from the coast, the hurricane center said.

The governors of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Virginia have all declared precautionary states of emergency.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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