Hurricane Ian tracker – live updates: Tropical storm regains strength as Category 1 hurricane as it approaches South Carolina

Hurricane Ian: Waves inundate 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 said in its 5pm ET update that Hurricane Ian “took aim at the Carolinas and Georgia with life-threatening flooding, storm surge and strong winds.”

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

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

Thousands of people are stranded across the state as Coast Guard helicopters were seen plucking people from rooftops after several feet of water poured into neighborhoods. About 2.5 million people were currently without power.

Meanwhile, the damage and economic losses caused by Hurricane Ian could amount to as much as $120 billion, according to a new estimate.

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ICYMI: Ian is strengthening into a hurricane as it approaches South Carolina

Ian has regained strength over the Atlantic and has become a hurricane again, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

The storm had been downgraded to a tropical storm as it weakened over Florida. Hurricane Ian is now expected to hit South Carolina today as a Category 1 hurricane.

Read the whole story here:

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Woman braves Hurricane Ian Flood to check on stranger’s mother

Christine Bomlitz grew increasingly desperate as Hurricane Ian intensified and swept across southwest Florida on Wednesday. Hours passed, but still nothing from her 84-year-old mother.

Thursday morning came. The storm had long drifted away overnight. But still no word.

Read the whole piece here:

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Hurricane Ian sweeps home, recalls barrier islands

On the way into Fort Myers Beach, cars are left abandoned on the roadway where they stalled as Hurricane Ian’s storm surge flooded their engines and their drivers were unable to continue. Broken trees, boat trailers and other debris litter the road.

It’s even worse in the seaside tourist town, much of which was leveled by the fierce winds and powerful storm surges generated by the Category 4 hurricane.

Read the whole story here:

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Donald Trump avoids fraud charges by staying in Florida as Hurricane Ian hits

Donald Trump has avoided a deposition in a fraud case by remaining in Florida as Hurricane Ian made landfall. The former president was to be impeached in a class-action civil lawsuit first filed in 2018. It accuses Mr. Trump, his children and the Trump Organization of committing fraud and deceit.

That’s different from the lawsuit filed earlier this month by New York Attorney General Letitia James, who similarly accuses Trump and the others of fraud for allegedly overstating his assets by billions of dollars.

Read the full story by Andrew Buncombe here:

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Don Lemon scolded for turning NOAA Hurricane Ian interview into climate crisis debate

As Ian approached the United States, Jamie Rohme, the head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Hurricane Center, raised some eyebrows when he appeared hesitant to link the storm to the climate crisis during an interview on CNN.

Read the whole story here:

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Study shows climate change added 10% to Ian’s rainfall

A quick study by two scientists calculates that climate change made Hurricane Ian 10 percent rainier than it would have been if there was no such thing as global warming.

Read the entire piece by Seth Borenstein here:

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Why you shouldn’t get stuck in hurricane flooding

As Hurricane Ian battered Florida with wind speeds in excess of 150 mph, several people have shared videos of themselves swimming through floodwaters. Read here to know why you shouldn’t do the same:

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Death toll rises after sheriff predicts hundreds of lives lost

ICYMI: At least five people are believed to have been killed in Fort Myers and the surrounding Lee County area after Hurricane Ian officials said, although that number may have risen to as many as 12 based on reports from Florida officials.

Gino Spocchia has the story.

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They searched Disney World after Hurricane Ian – that’s how it was

The resort became an important refuge for thousands as the powerful storm swept through Florida, writes Bevan Hurley.

Read the whole piece here:

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Hurricane Ian could result in up to $120 billion in damages

The damage and economic losses caused by Hurricane Ian could amount to as much as $120 billion, according to a new estimate.

AccuWeather founder and CEO, Dr Joel N Myers, said in a press release that “Ian will go down as one of the most damaging and impactful storms in US history, along with 2017’s Hurricane Harvey, which caused $190 billion in total damage and economic losses, and Irma ($80 billion); Sandy in 2012 ($210 billion); Katrina in 2005, ($320 billion), adjusted for inflation.”

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