May 20, 2024
Ian was upgraded back to a hurricane Thursday afternoon and is heading toward Georgia and the Carolinas after being downgraded to a tropical storm Thursday morning.

Ian was upgraded back to a hurricane Thursday afternoon and is heading toward Georgia and the Carolinas after being downgraded to a tropical storm Thursday morning.

The hurricane will hit the three eastern states with “life-threatening flooding, storm surge and strong winds,” the National Hurricane Center warned in its 5 p.m. alert.

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“Ian could slightly strengthen before landfall tomorrow, and is forecast to rapidly weaken over the southeastern United States late Friday into Saturday,” the hurricane center said.

Hurricane warnings have been posted for all of South Carolina’s coast, parts of North Carolina, and Florida. Storm surge warnings are also in effect for parts of North Carolina and Georgia.

The hurricane first made landfall in the United States on Wednesday, hitting the coast of Florida as a Category 4 hurricane with winds as high as 150 mph. It was downgraded several times, eventually reaching tropical storm status despite its devastating effects.

Residents across Florida were under evacuation orders Wednesday and Thursday, though many orders have been lifted as the storm moves away from the state.

“This could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida’s history,” President Joe Biden said at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters Thursday. “The numbers are still unclear, but we’re hearing early reports of what may be substantial loss of life.”

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More than 2.5 million people were without power as of Thursday morning, with some areas along Florida’s Gulf Coast going completely dark. Cities such as Orlando and others in central Florida received flash flood warnings early Thursday morning as well, with the hurricane center warning of “life-threatening” conditions.

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