IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Hurricane Ian makes landfall in South Carolina after devastating Florida

Almost 65,000 customers in South Carolina lost power early Saturday.

Almost 65,000 homes and businesses are without power in South Carolina as of early Saturday, after Hurricane Ian slammed the state Friday afternoon, according to the website PowerOutage.us.

Ian reached land at 2:05 p.m. as a Category 1 storm with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone about three hours after making its second landfall, but officials in both South Carolina and Florida warned that Ian and its aftermath pose grave danger.

By Friday night, the storm was headed for North Carolina and Virginia, bringing threats of "considerable" flooding, the center said.

Latest on Hurricane Ian

  • Dozens of deaths in eight Florida counties have been blamed on the storm
  • As of Friday night, Ian was a post-tropical cyclone headed for North Carolina and Virginia with 50 mph winds
  • Parts of Florida should expect major to record flooding through next week
  • Officials at a Florida hospital fear disease outbreaks and infections after days without running water
  • More than 2 million customers were without power across Puerto Rico and four states — Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia

The hurricane pounded parts of Florida on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, devastating communities and leaving at least 23 people dead, with more than half in Lee County, state officials said.

According to an NBC News count based on local reports, 34 deaths have been blamed on the storm.

Weather officials at the National Hurricane Center said that the central part of the state should expect major to record flooding through next week.

Florida’s Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie suggested the death toll could be higher. He said it was still to be confirmed whether many of those deaths were related to the storm.

Speaking after a briefing with Federal Emergency Management Agency officials, President Joe Biden had also warned Thursday night that Ian could be responsible for “substantial loss of life” and end up being the deadliest storm in Florida's history.

“I spoke with the commissioners, and they are worried,” he said.

Image: BESTPIX - Hurricane Ian Slams Into West Coast Of Florida
Boats sit scattered in a woodland area and along the side of the road after being propelled by rising waters from Hurricane Ian near Fort Myers Beach on Thursday.Win McNamee / Getty Images

More than 1.3 million customers across Florida were without power as of early Saturday, according to PowerOutage.us. And more than 740,000 customers were in the dark across the Carolinas, Virginia and Puerto Rico, according to the site.

Striking videos and photos emerging from Florida have captured the level of devastation across the state, with some footage showing heroic rescues of people stranded in submerged cars and wading into floodwaters, while others portray the destruction left in Ian's wake.

The hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm Thursday, but strengthened again to a hurricane, according to the hurricane center.

In addition to the warning of a life-threatening storm surge and hurricane conditions, flooding rains are also likely across the Carolinas and southwestern Virginia.

The center of the storm is expected to move farther inland across the Carolinas on Friday night and Saturday, the hurricane center said.

A crowd watches as power lines are repaired after several days without electricity in El Cerro, Cuba.
A crowd watches as power lines are repaired Thursday after several days without electricity in El Cerro, Cuba. Adalberto Roque / AFP - Getty Images

In Cuba, residents continue to grapple with the aftermath of Ian, which knocked out power across the country in sweeping outages.

At least three hurricane-related deaths were reported in the island nation as of earlier this week. One woman died after a wall fell on her, while another was killed by a roof that collapsed. Meanwhile, cleanup efforts are underway in hard-hit parts of the country.