Tropical Storm Ian: ‘Substantial loss of life’ possible in Florida as Hurricane Ian now takes aim at South Carolina
, 2022-09-29 16:28:00,
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Ian’s vicious combination of winds, rain and storm surge caused at least a dozen deaths, flooded homes, cut off roadways and left millions of Florida residents without power Thursday as it again intensified into a hurricane in the Atlantic Ocean and barreled toward South Carolina.
Ian made landfall Wednesday afternoon in southwest Florida and was downgraded to a tropical storm, dropping heavy rain on central and northeast Florida throughout Thursday.
But it intensified into Category 1 hurricane Thursday afternoon and is forecast to make a second landfall in South Carolina on Friday, the National Hurricane Center said.
In southwest and central Florida, at least 15 people were reported dead so far due to the storm. At least 17 deaths have been reported in connection with Ian.
The death toll in Charlotte County, Florida, was at least eight or nine, Charlotte County Commissioner Joseph Tiseo told CNN’s Alisyn Camerota Thursday afternoon. About five people are believed to have died in Lee County, the sheriff there said.
One person who was in hospice care died in Osceola County, Emergency Management Director Bill Litton said. And a 72-year-old man in Deltona died overnight after going outside to drain his swimming pool during the storm, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office.
Sarasota County is reporting two hurricane-related deaths in the county, Sarasota County Sheriff PIO Kaitlyn Perez told CNN. Perez said the office did not have additional details on where the deaths took place or information on the deceased individuals.
“This could be the deadliest hurricane in Florida’s history,” President Joe Biden said Thursday. “The numbers are still unclear, but we’re hearing early reports of what may be substantial loss of life.”
Photos: Hurricane Ian pummels Florida
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