- Ian is forecast to pummel much of the southeastern United States with a nasty mix of rain, wind and sleet over the next few days.
- Hurricane and storm surge warnings have been issued for the South Carolina coast.
- States of emergency have been issued in Georgia, Virginia and the Carolinas.
After blasting Florida on Wednesday and Thursday, Ian isn’t done yet.
In fact, the former hurricane, now downgraded to a tropical storm as it spins over the western Atlantic Ocean, is forecast to bear down on much of the southeastern United States with a nasty mix of rain, wind and storm surge during the next few days, forecasters said. .
Ian is expected to restrengthen into a hurricane before making landfall in South Carolina during the day on Friday, the National Hurricane Center said late Thursday.
Where are the new hurricane and storm surge warnings?
Hurricane and storm surge warnings have been issued for the South Carolina coast due to Ian’s expected approach, the Hurricane Center said.
As of Thursday afternoon, the center of Ian had emerged in the western Atlantic and is expected to become a hurricane again by Thursday evening and make landfall as a hurricane on Friday.
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Even after weakening Thursday, Ian’s tropical-storm-force winds were still within 415 miles of its center Thursday afternoon, the Hurricane Center said.
The Hurricane Center warned that a storm surge of 6 feet or more was still possible from Daytona Beach, Florida, to north of Charleston, South Carolina. And up to 8 inches of rain threatened flooding in the Carolinas and Virginia.
“It doesn’t matter what the intensity of the storm is. We’re still waiting for some rain,” said Robbie Berg, senior hurricane specialist at the Hurricane Center.
How much of the Southeast is at risk?
States of emergency have been issued in Georgia, Virginia and the Carolinas as forecasters warn that Ian’s hazards will continue into the Southeast, and hazards are expected both inland and along the coast, according to AccuWeather.
“Tropical rain is expected to affect more than half a dozen states this weekend,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Courtney Travis.
Up to a foot of rain was forecast for parts of Northeast Florida, coastal Georgia and Virginia over the next few days, AccuWeather said.
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What will be the impact on Georgia and Virginia?
Up to 6 inches could fall in southern Virginia as the storm moves inland over the Carolinas, and the National Hurricane Center said landslides were possible in the southern Appalachian Mountains.
According to Accuweather, a large swath from Georgia to Virginia is expected to pick up at least 2 to 4 inches of rain from Ian Friday through the weekend. A persistent stream of moisture from the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean’s Gulf Stream will fuel even higher rainfall totals of 12-18 inches across coastal Georgia and parts of South Carolina.
What will be the impact on South Carolina?
A hurricane warning was issued Thursday for the entire coast of South Carolina as the center of Storm Ian drifted off the coast of Florida and back out to sea.
The National Weather Service’s latest forecast showed Ian’s winds at 70 miles per hour, just below hurricane strength. Warm Atlantic waters are expected to help it gather strength as it heads back toward the US coast.
In Charleston, South Carolina, officials opened parking lots so residents could get their cars above the impending flood.
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Forecasters predicted the seventh-highest water level Friday afternoon in Charleston in more than 120 years of records, at 8.7 feet above mean low tide in the downtown harbor.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster joined his counterparts in Georgia and North Carolina in declaring a state of emergency so officials could access resources and receive federal emergency money.
Schools planned to go to online learning to keep buses off the road.
Contributor: The Associated Press