Hurricane Ian latest update: Tropical storm regains strength as category one hurricane as it nears South Carolina

Hurricane Ian: Waves flood roads in Key West as storm strengthens to category 4

After spending most of Thursday as a tropical storm, Ian was upgraded to a hurricane again as it takes aim at the South Carolina coastline.

The National Hurricane Center stated in its 5pm ET update that Hurricane Ian was “taking aim at the Carolinas and Georgia with life-threatening flooding, storm surge and strong winds.”

The hurricane is now moving north-northwest at around 10 mph with maximum sustained winds increasing to 75 mph with strong gusts.

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

Dozens of rescue operations have been taking place across Florida after unprecedented flooding from one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded in the United States.

Thousands of people are stranded across the state as coastguard helicopters were seen plucking people from roofs after several feet of water surged into neighorboods. Some 2.5million people were currently without power.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis described the hurricane as a “500-year flood event” and said that major infrastructure had been badly damaged including the Sanibel Causeway in southwest Florida and the bridge to Pine Island, near Fort Myers.

President Joe Biden declared a major disaster in Florida following the catastrophic impacts. “This could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida history,” he said later during a briefing at the Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters.

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More than 500 people rescued so far in Lee and Charlotte counties

“Search & Rescue Update: As of 2:00 PM (EST), more than 500 individuals have been rescued in Charlotte & Lee Counties since operations began this morning. Search & Rescue efforts are ongoing in impacted areas,” the state’s department of emergency management tweeted on Thursday.

Hurricane Ian made landfall in Lee County on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm with winds of 150mph, while Charlotte County is to its north.

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Climate change increased Ian rainfall by 10%, say scientists

The analysis by researchers Kevin Reed of Stony Brook University and Michael Wehner of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has not yet been peer-reviewed, but they say they used the same methodology for their study of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which has been.

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Disney World guests hunkering down as Hurricane Ian brings fierce winds and rain

The resort’s four theme parks closed on Wednesday, but in the 32 hotels that sit on the 27,000 acre theme park near Orlando, Disney staff went to every effort to keep the magic alive.

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Ian re-strengthens into hurricane as it nears South Carolina

The storm is forecast to make landfall again on Friday.

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Sanibel mayor pens emotional letter after Ian: ‘Our lives and our island have been forever changed’

Sanibel Island is cut off after the only bridge that connects it and Captiva to the mainland bore the brunt of the historic hurricane and had sections ripped out.

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Florida boats destroyed by Hurricane Ian winds and surge

Boats were tossed around like toys in Fort Myers, Florida, as Hurricane Ian brought devastating winds and storm surge as it made landfall on Wednesday, 28 September.

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Firefighters evacuate nursing home as Storm Ian ravages Florida

Residents of a nursing home in Orlando, Florida, were evacuated after flood water from Hurricane Ian inundated their accommodation on Thursday morning, 29 September.

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Latest pictures of Florida devastation from Ian

In an aerial view, a damaged Fort Myers Beach pier and surrounding buildings are seen after Hurricane Ian passed through the area on September 29, 2022 in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

(Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

In an aerial view, damaged buildings are seen as Hurricane Ian passed through the area on September 29, 2022 in Fort Myers Beach, Florida.

(Getty Images)

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Ian upgraded to hurricane once again

After spending most of Thursday as a tropical storm, Ian has been upgraded to a hurricane again.

The National Hurricane Center stated in its 5pm ET update that Hurricane Ian was “taking aim at the Carolinas and Georgia with life-threatening flooding, storm surge and strong winds.”

The hurricane is now moving north-northwest at around 10 mph with maximum sustained winds increasing to 75 mph with strong gusts.

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

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FCC says Ian knocked out more than 1,500 cell phone sites in Florida

That number represents around 11 per cent of cell sites in the state, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Lee County, where Hurricane Ian made landfall on Wednesday, has reported that 65 per cent of cell sites were taken out by the storm.

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