Charleston has been ‘fortunate,’ says Mayor Tecklenburg
Residents of Charleston woke up to sunnier weather and wind speeds of only 10.4 mph this morning, after Ian lashed heavy rain and wind over the city on Friday.
“While the city was fortunate to avoid a direct hit from Hurricane Ian, the impacts are still significant, with a number of roads closed, residents without power and flooding damage,” Mayor John Tecklenburg said in a statement.
He added, “We are grateful to our first responders and our residents who stayed at home during the storm, and encourage residents to continue to exercise caution as they make repairs and clean up.”
Biden approves emergency declaration in North Carolina
President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for North Carolina on Saturday, ordering federal assistance to the state due to conditions from Hurricane Ian.
Biden’s declaration authorizes the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts in all 100 counties of the state and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
“Emergency protective measures (Category B), including direct Federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program will be provided at 75 percent Federal funding,” according to a White House statement.
Three ports closed in St. Petersburg
Three ports remain closed in the coastal city of St Petersburg, Florida, following the destruction left by Hurricane Ian.
The ports that have been shut down include Fort Myers Beach, Boca Grande and Charlotte. The 16 other ports in the city were open on Saturday morning.
Nearly 2 million homes and businesses without power
Nearly 2 million customers have been left without power in Ian’s wake, according to data from poweroutage.us.
In Florida, 1.3 million customers were without electricity early Saturday morning, with 100,331 affected in Virgina, 325,015 in North Carolina, 62,023 in South Carolina and 204, 513 in Puerto Rico.
Sarasota County warns of possible levee break
Florida’s Sarasota County warned of a possible levee break in the area of Hidden River/Myakka Valley, with the potential for 15 feet of floodwater.
Residents were urged to shelter in place if it was safe to do so because exit routes and roadways could be impassable, according to a statement.
Major to record flooding expected in Florida with flash floods predicted elsewhere
Warnings of record river flooding across parts of Florida were in place Saturday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center’s latest report at 5 a.m. The center also warned of limited flash, urban and small stream flooding across the central Appalachians and parts of the southern mid-Atlantic regions over the weekend, including in Virginia and North and South Carolina.
Ian will have maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, according to the NHC. It also said the storm was expected to dissipate over south-central Virginia by tonight, and had been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone
Ian is expected to produce between 2 to 4 inches of rainfall on Saturday, with a maximum of 6 inches in parts of the central Appalachians and North Carolina.
Florida hospital without running water faces a sanitation crisis in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian
Hurricane Ian has created a burgeoning biohazard situation in at least one Florida hospital close to where the storm first made landfall.
Staff members at the Health Park Medical Center in Fort Myers told NBC News that the facility’s running water went out Wednesday and hadn’t yet been restored. If water service wasn’t back soon, the workers said, they feared disease outbreaks and infections in the wake of the storm.
Patients and nurses alike have been forced to defecate in plastic bags, then store the waste in overflowing biohazard bins, staff members and patients said.
Workers said they couldn’t properly sanitize medical instruments for reuse, and some patients went more than a dozen hours without drinking any water.
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Ian washes away piers in South Carolina
Hurricane Ian has destroyed parts of at least four piers along South Carolina’s northern coast. Ian has gone from being classified as a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone as it moves across South Carolina.
The brunt of the surge and waves from the Category 1 storm hit around Myrtle Beach on Friday.
Police said the Pawley’s Island Pier was washed away first. Then local TV footage showed sections missing from the Cherry Grove Pier near North Myrtle Beach and the Apache and Second Avenue piers in Myrtle Beach.
An 85 mph wind gust was measured at Fort Sumter, the tiny island where the Civil War began, about 4 miles from downtown Charleston, the National Weather Service reported.
Flash flood warnings for North Carolina and Virginia
There were warnings of flash flooding across parts of North Carolina and southern Virginia Saturday morning, according to the National Hurricane Center’s latest report at 2 a.m. ET.
Ian, which has been downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, will have maximum sustained winds of 40 mph, according to the NHC. It also said that the storm is forecast to weaken later on Saturday and dissipate by early Sunday.
And Ian is expected to produce between 3 to 6 inches of rainfall across parts of North Carolina and West Virginia on Saturday.
In Florida, even inland towns are menaced by floods
Residents in North Port, Sarasota County, thought they might be safe from the ravages of Hurricane Ian, living far from the beach and outside areas under evacuation orders.
But even in inland towns, water levels have gone up significantly, causing widespread flooding and turning roads into canals and leaving residents trapped inside their homes. Heavy rains from the storm have ended up flowing into suburban and inland towns not included in hurricane warnings.
This is because rising rivers have created a deluge, the overflowing of water on land, long after the winds have died down, leading to rescue efforts not dissimilar to those in coastal areas.
“Water just keeps going up. Who knows when it is going to stop,” Samuel Almanzar, 42, told The Associated Press. He was rescued by crews Friday along with his father, wife and two children, 11 and 6 years old.
Former FEMA director breaks down immediate needs of hurricane survivors
Coast Guard says it saved more than 300 after Ian
The U.S. Coast Guard said Friday it had saved 325 people and 83 pets so far in its response to Hurricane Ian.
Those numbers were as of 8 p.m. Friday. The Coast Guard is among the agencies responding to the devastation caused by Ian, which was a Category 4 hurricane when it struck Florida’s southwest coast Wednesday.
The Coast Guard posted video showing a man being rescued by helicopter from a boat stranded in mangroves from flooded areas near Sanibel.
Sanibel Island, in Lee County, was among the areas devastated by the storm and is south of where the hurricane made landfall. Sanibel city officials have said there was a storm surge there of 8 to 15 feet.