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Hurricane Ian on Friday made its second landfall, this time in South Carolina as a Category 1 storm, even as Florida continues to recover from the devastation of the first landfall.
The storm was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone about three hours after making the second landfall, but officials in both South Carolina and Florida warned that Ian and its aftermath still pose grave danger.
More than 1.3 million customers in Florida were without power early Saturday, three days after Ian slammed into the state. In South Carolina, just under 70,000 homes and businesses were without power after the hurricane hit.
At least 23 people were killed in the storm in Florida, according to state officials, but that number could grow.
President Joe Biden warned that Ian could ultimately be responsible for “substantial loss of life” and could end up being the deadliest storm in the state's history.
Coast Guard says it saved more than 300 after Ian
The U.S. Coast Guard said Friday it has saved 325 people and 83 pets so far in its response to Hurricane Ian.
Those numbers were as of 8 p.m. Friday. The Coast Guard is among the agencies responding to the devastation caused by Ian, which was a Category 4 hurricane when it struck Florida’s southwest coast Wednesday.
The Coast Guard posted video showing a man being rescued by helicopter from a boat stranded in mangroves from flooded areas near Sanibel.
Sanibel Island, in Lee County, was among the areas devastated by the storm and is south of where the hurricane made landfall. Sanibel city officials have said there was a storm surge there of 8 to 15 feet.
In Havana, protests over islandwide blackout
HAVANA — The widespread power outage caused by Hurricane Ian prompted several hundred people to protest in Havana, and a monitoring group said the island’s internet service shut down again Friday in what appeared to be an attempt to curb information about the demonstrations from spreading.
An Associated Press journalist saw about 400 people gathered Thursday night in at least two spots in the Cerro neighborhood shouting, “We want light, we want light,” and banging pots and pans.
It appeared to be the first public display over the electricity problems that spread from western Cuba, where Ian hit on Tuesday, to the entire island, leaving the country’s 11 million people in the dark. The storm also left three people dead and caused still unquantified damage.
Power was restored to much of the island within a day after the storm’s blast. But there still areas without service, including in the capital.
Massive swell measured off Florida's west coast
Hurricane Ian whipped up momentous swell in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Scripps Institution of Oceanography said Friday that a buoy off the southwestern edge of Florida put up a historic number: 52 feet, the largest Florida Gulf Coast measured by the Scripps' Coastal Data Information Program since 2007.
That height, measured Wednesday, the day of Ian's first landfall, is comparable or even higher than buoy readings off Hawaii's North Shore and the Northern California coast that inspire the athletes of big wave surfing to jet to Honolulu and San Francisco with their biggest boards.
The Gulf Coast buoy, identified as 226-Pulley Ridge, Florida, was recording measurements of 40 feet and above for hours before that record wave height, according to CDIP data.
The swell measured by 226-Pulley Ridge delivered as a storm surge of 12 to 18 feet was measured in Charlotte Harbor, Florida, as Ian approached and eventually struck the coast Wednesday, according to Scripps.
Florida confirms 23 deaths from Hurricane Ian
At least 23 deaths in Florida have been attributed to Hurricane Ian, the state medical examiners commission said Friday.
The deaths reported by the Florida Medical Examiners Commission have been confirmed to be related to the storm after autopsies. Most of the 23 drowned.
The true death toll from the hurricane, which struck Florida’s southwest coast as a Category 4 with 150-mph winds, could be higher.
Local officials have reported other deaths. According to an NBC News count of reports from officials, there have been 34 deaths in Florida.
Of the 23 deaths confirmed by medical examiners, a dozen were in Lee County where the storm made landfall Wednesday afternoon.
Ian leaves thousands in Carolinas, Virginia in the dark
As Ian moved north through the Carolinas and toward Virginia on Friday night, it knocked out power to hundreds of thousands homes and businesses.
Hard-hit South Carolina, where Ian earlier Friday made landfall as a hurricane, had 99,224 customers without power as midnight approached, according to figures from PowerOutage.us.
North Carolina, which has experienced Ian mostly as a less potent version of its time as an ocean-fueled tropical cyclone, reported 370,857 customers in the dark, the site reported Friday night.
State Emergency Management Operations said most of those were in Wake, Guilford, Mecklenburg and Durham counties.
Though Ian was still on its way, Virginia had 95,395 customers without power late Friday, PowerOutage.us said.
Ian drenches Charleston, S.C., with 5.5 inches
Even as landfall knocked some of the breath out of Ian, eventually taking it down to a post-tropical cyclone, South Carolina's Charleston International Airport recorded more than 5 inches of rain Friday.
The National Weather Service's Charleston office tweeted that the city received 5.5 inches, making it the wettest Sept. 30 since record-keeping began.
The forecast office said the measurement would also make the date the fifth wettest September day and the 13th wettest day of any month on record.
Tropical Storm Orlene growing stronger in Pacific off Mexico
MEXICO CITY — Tropical Storm Orlene strengthened in the eastern Pacific on Friday and forecasters expected it to become a hurricane while heading for a projected landfall on Mexico’s northwestern coast Monday.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Orlene had maximum sustained winds of 65 mph Friday evening. It was centered about 265 miles south-southwest of Cabo Corrientes and was moving north-northwest at 5 mph.
The center said Orlene was a small, compact storm, with tropical storm-force winds extending out only 45 miles from the center.
It was forecast to grow to hurricane force by Saturday morning before falling back to tropical storm strength ahead of a forecast Monday landfall in Sinaloa state, in the region around the resort city of Mazatlan.
More than 1.6 million in Florida still without power, some outages prolonged
More than 1.6 million electricity customers in Florida remained without power Friday, two days after Hurricane Ian caused severe destruction in parts of the state, and utilities said some outages will be prolonged.
The number, released by the Florida Division of Emergency Management around 6 p.m., is down from the more than 2 million after Ian struck Wednesday.
In southwest Florida, customers will face “prolonged outages," Florida Light & Power said. There was no immediate estimate for restoration in Lee, Charlotte, and some other hard-hit counties.
Kevin Guthrie, director of the state emergency management division, on Friday warned residents about the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. posed by improper use of generators.
“We still get reports of people operating their generators inside of a garage, operating their generators just outside of a cracked window with the cord running through the window,” he said at a news conference.
Carbon monoxide from generators has killed people following other hurricanes. After Hurricane Laura hit Louisiana in 2020, nine of the 31 deaths there were people who died of carbon monoxide poisoning, health officials have said. All but four died of “indirect” causes like heat illness and during cleanup, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Supply chain issues could slow fix of Florida electric grid
Crews are beginning to repair — and in some cases, rebuild — Florida’s power grid after the state was pummeled by Hurricane Ian.
Florida Power & Light says it stockpiled enough poles, generators and wire to do the work. But power-industry officials warn that kinks in the nation’s supply chain could slow the recovery if Ian causes more damage as it spins up the Atlantic coast, or when another natural disaster strikes somewhere else in the U.S.
Eric Silagy, CEO of Florida Power & Light, said that Friday evening 850,000 of the utility’s customers who lost power in the storm remained without power, but 1.2 million had power restored during the day.
Silagy said earlier this week that the company had set aside enough generators in the months before Ian to complete repairs.
Nationally, however, there is a shortage of distribution transformers that take electricity from high-voltage lines and reduce it to levels that can be used in homes and businesses, industry officials said.
“It’s a critical component to the electrical grid that has been in scarce supply for a number of months now,” said Joy Ditto, president and CEO of the American Public Power Association. “We started to recognize it as a national concern in late winter, early spring, and the situation is getting worse.”
It used to take about three months for a transformer to show up after being ordered, but now it is taking more than a year, Ditto said. She said that is limiting the ability of companies to stockpile the boxes, and as a result, they are increasingly swapping boxes with utilities facing a shortage.
Why people may have to reconsider how they prepare for storms following Hurricane Ian
Florida death toll after Ian climbs to 21 people
Twenty-one people have died after Hurricane Ian slammed into Florida earlier this week, according to an NBC News tally.
At least seven of those deaths appear to have been drownings, the Florida Medical Examiners Commission said in a Friday update.
Speaking to reporters earlier in the day, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed there have been casualties in the wake of Ian but would not comment on how many, adding that some people might experience medical emergencies that are not directly related to the hurricane.
"Some times there are deaths that are not attributable to the storm" he said, citing an example from Charlotte County where someone suffered a heart attack but could not receive timely medical attention.
'It’s pure devastation’: Charlotte County commissioner describes Ian aftermath in Florida
South Carolina governor warns his state is 'not out of the woods'
Hurricane Ian walloped South Carolina with storm surge flooding, but the state's governor said at a news conference Friday afternoon that Ian — now a post-tropical cyclone — was "not as bad as it could have been."
Still, he warned, residents there need to remain vigilant.
"Don't quit yet, because this is still coming," Gov. Henry McMaster said. "We're not out of the woods."
Hurricane Ian downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone
The National Hurricane Center has downgraded Hurricane Ian to a post-tropical cyclone after it made landfall in the Carolinas.
Warnings for high wind threat, dangerous storm surge and flash flooding continue, and a tropical storm warning has been issued from Edisto Beach in South Carolina to Cape Fear in North Carolina, the NHC said in an advisory.
"The combination of storm surge and the tide will cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising waters moving inland from the shoreline," the advisory warned.
Ian is forecast to move farther inland overnight to eastern South Carolina, move across central North Carolina early Saturday and reach western Virginia by early Sunday.
‘Expect to see the death toll go up’ as officials clear homes hit by Hurricane Ian
More than 212,000 customers without power in South Carolina
Power outages are steadily ticking upwards in South Carolina, where some 212,802 customers are in the dark as of 4:20 p.m. ET, according to PowerOutage.us.
"Crews will be working around the clock to get the lights back on as quickly and safely as possible," Dominion Energy, the utility experiencing the most outages in the state, said in a tweet.
Hurricane Ian wrecked a mobile home park, but spared another across the street
FORT MYERS, Fla. — It was a tale of two mobile home parks Friday, just 200 yards apart.
On one side of Ortiz Avenue in this storm-ravaged city, residents of the Lazy J Mobile Home & RV Park returned to find that the trailers that are their homes had largely survived the wrath of Hurricane Ian, which killed more than a dozen people in Florida before leaving the state and barreling toward the Carolinas on Friday.
A few of the more than 150 or so trailers appeared to have some minor flooding and wind damage, but on the surface they looked mostly untouched.
The scene was far different on the other side of Ortiz Avenue, where residents of the Poinsettia Mobile Home Park were trying to salvage what they could from the wreckage left by a monstrous-but-fickle storm that rampaged through Fort Myers on Wednesday.
Protests in Cuba erupt after days without power following Hurricane Ian
Protests erupted in Cuba Thursday night as most of the island endured nearly three full days without power due the damage caused by Hurricane Ian.
Small groups of people took to the streets and banged on pots in different parts of Havana and other provinces throughout the island.
On Friday morning, the Energy and Mines Ministry said that 60% of the capital, Havana, and 88% of the Mayabeque province had power restored. But most of the country of about 11 million was still without electricity.
In the western part of the island, which took a direct hit Tuesday, Cuba’s power company is unable to say when the lights could be back on. Winds of 125 miles per hour ripped down thousands of electric poles, high tension towers and transformers.
‘It’s dangerous after the storm, too’: Officials detail safety, recovery efforts for Hurricane Ian
World Central Kitchen sees long lines in Florida, serves some 40,000 meals to communities affected by Ian
A nonprofit aid organization spearheaded by celebrity chef Jose Andres is preparing to "scale up" as Florida residents endure long lines for bottled water and fresh meals.
World Central Kitchen estimates it will soon have served some 40,000 meals through its pop-up kitchen in Tampa and plans are underway to open another location in Fort Myers, according to Fiona Donovan, the group's director of operations.
"The need here is huge," Donovan told MSNBC. "Families are displaced and don’t know when they are going to be able to return home."
World Central Kitchen has been on the ground since Monday and started serving meals Thursday. It is also offering meals and water to hospitals that have no power or running water.
"We are preparing to scale up," Donovan said. "Over the past two days, we have seen long lines of folks waiting for water, food. Everyone is coming to us."
Premature infants and other patients evacuated from Fort Myers arrive in Naples after escaping Ian
At least 24 evacuated patients from Lee Health — a hospital system in Fort Myers, Florida, that lost power and water due to the storm — have been transported to the NCH Healthcare System in Naples. Six of those patients are premature infants from the neonatal intensive care unit.
The patients began arriving Thursday evening and additional patients have arrived since then Friday, said Amanda Lucey, chief marketing officer at NCH. The hospital system is treating around 400 people in total and expects to receive up to 400 more patients in the coming days from Fort Myers, she said.
“We’re seeing an influx in emergency patients because you can imagine people are getting out to clean up the damage, and you’ll have people who have injuries as a result of the cleanup,” Lucey said.
The hospital system is under lockdown, meaning visitors are not allowed and it is not performing elective surgeries, but it is seeking blood donations. Lucey said NCH has had trouble disseminating information to the public due to widespread power outages and disrupted cell service.
“We’ve experienced a lot of crisis events over the years — most recently, Covid — but the storm surge and the impact and the devastation that it’s done to the community is heartbreaking,” she said.
Video shows a reporter pointing out an alligator in Orlando floodwaters following Hurricane Ian
Myrtle Beach mayor tells residents to stay inside as Ian slams South Carolina
The mayor of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, has a stark message for residents in her coastal city of more than 35,000 people: Stay inside.
"Stay inside. I'm still seeing cars on the road. People need to stay inside. Stay safe. It's not worth the risk for you or for our first responders," Brenda Bethune said Friday in an interview with MSNBC.
Bethune issued her warning nearly an hour after Hurricane Ian made landfall in Georgetown, South Carolina, as a Category 1 storm.
Power goes out for more than 180,000 customers in South Carolina
More than 180,000 customers across South Carolina lost electricity after Hurricane Ian made landfall in the state, according to PowerOutage.us, a website that aggregates data from utilities.
The website showed that some 181,337 customers were without power as of 2:23 p.m. ET — about 20 minutes after Ian hit the state as a Category 1 storm.
Ian makes landfall in South Carolina
Ian made its second landfall, this time near Georgetown, South Carolina, as a Category 1 storm around 2:05 p.m. ET, according to the National Hurricane Center.
The storm hit South Carolina with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, it said in a statement.
Biden: We’re taking ‘every possible action’ to help those impacted by Hurricane Ian
The center of Ian is about to make landfall in the Carolinas, with life-threatening storm surge and damaging winds
The National Hurricane Center warned in its 2 p.m. ET advisory that the center of Hurricane Ian is about to make landfall along the Atlantic Coast.
“Life-threatening storm surge, damaging winds and flash flooding lashing the Carolinas,” the advisory said.
With maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, Ian is about 55 miles off Charleston, South Carolina, and moving toward land at about 15 mph.
“Ian is forecast to turn toward the north-northwest by tonight and will move inland across eastern South Carolina and central North Carolina tonight and Saturday,” the hurricane center said.
Aerial footage shows Hurricane Ian’s impact on Fort Myers Beach
Hurricane Ian’s winds were so fierce that boats in Fort Myers were “tossed up on to land” and “tossed around like they were toys,” the city’s mayor said Friday in an interview with MSNBC.
Kevin Anderson previously told NBC’s “TODAY” show that Ian was the worst storm he had ever witnessed.
IRS pushes deadlines for Florida residents, relief workers affected by Ian, and visitors who were injured in the storm
Taxpayers affected by Ian will now have until Feb. 15 “to file most tax returns,” the IRS announced in a press release Thursday.
The IRS has pushed all deadlines after Sept. 23 to Feb. 15, 2023, for taxpayers who "reside or have a business anywhere in the state of Florida," whom it will automatically identify. The federal tax agency will also extend deadlines for relief workers in disaster areas and any visitors to the areas who were injured as a result of Ian, who must request the relief.
The new deadline will apply to quarterly estimated tax payments, normally due Jan. 17, and to quarterly payroll and excise tax returns, which are normally due Oct. 31 and Jan. 31.
Affected taxpayers can also claim disaster-related casualty losses for their 2022 or 2021 federal income tax return and may also deduct personal property losses that are not covered by insurance or other reimbursements.
Images show airboat rescue of 93-year-old woman in Kissimmee
Live from Hurricane Ian, TikTok creators find traction
It was 5 a.m. ET, just hours before Hurricane Ian would make landfall in Florida, when TJ McCormack, 44, prepared to head south from Venice Beach — not to escape the coming storm, but to meet it head-on.
He lives in Denver and had traveled to Florida to chase the storm, though he’s not a meteorologist or a journalist. He’s a roofer by trade but a burgeoning influencer, as well, one who has amassed more than 280,000 followers on TikTok, where he posts videos of whatever he thinks people might want to see.
And what he knows people want to see — and what TikTok’s algorithm seems to favor — is livestreams. He was one of dozens of people who livestreamed Ian as it hit Florida.
“Whenever people watch me, they expect they’re going to see up-to-the-minute, real, live, authentic things being shown to them,” McCormack said in a phone interview Thursday. “I love the thrill of the chase, the adrenaline rush, and being able to document things as they’re occurring.”
Biden directs his administration to 'prioritize lifesaving actions'
President Joe Biden spoke on the phone Friday morning with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell as part of his administration's effort to “prioritize lifesaving actions and ensure delivery of essential services and support to survivors,” the White House said in a statement.
The White House said that Biden was taking steps to help communities impacted by the storm, such as approving additional Florida counties for assistance and issuing a “pre-landfall emergency declaration” for South Carolina.
The White House said that over a dozen Coast Guard aircraft have been flying nonstop since Thursday, rescuing over 80 people along the southwest Florida coast. The president also deployed over 400 members of the Army Corps of Engineers to the region to evaluate the safety of bridges, roads and other infrastructure.
Southwest Florida residents will have free telehealth in the wake of Ian, Lee Health announces
Lee Health is offering free telehealth services to residents affected by Hurricane Ian.
The public health system's services are accessible on any smartphone, computer or tablet with a camera. Available 24/7, Lee Health TeleHealth can be accessed here.
But the health care provider urges people to still call 911 if they are having an urgent medical problem. The emergency rooms at Lee Health's hospitals remain open.
Rescue teams respond to more than 3,000 homes along the Florida coast, DeSantis says
Rescue personnel have gone to more than 3,000 homes in the areas hit the hardest to check on residents, Florida Gov, Ron DeSantis said at a Friday morning news briefing.
Right now, the teams have focused on areas along the coast but will begin to move inland.
The governor noted that there are still significant power outages in Hardee County, which is about 99 percent in the dark. Lee and Charlotte counties are 85 percent without power and DeSoto is 80 percent without power, he said.
Six health care facilities had to be evacuated in southwest Florida due to "problems with water or problems with power for an extended period of time," DeSantis said.
Crews have spent the past few days inspecting and reopening 800 bridges across the state, according to the governor. Bridges in Pine Island and Sanibel will require “rebuild efforts,” he told reporters.
Families in Florida are picking up the pieces after Hurricane Ian ravaged the state this week, with one family saying they lost “everything” after their home’s foundations crumbled in the staggering storm surge.
Ian made landfall Wednesday afternoon as a Category 4 storm over the west coast of Florida, leaving in its wake more than a dozen people dead, destroyed homes, flooded streets and millions without power.
The Gutierrez family of Fort Myers Beach, Florida, took video footage of the storm’s damage in their home showing their belongings, tables and furniture strewn about in high, muddy flood waters.
Maribel Gutierrez, the mother of the family, told MSNBC she and her husband and her four children held hands in a chain as they escaped their home in the midst of the ferocious hurricane in search of higher ground.
21 deaths reported in Florida in Ian's wake, official says
At least 21 people have died in Florida, an official said Friday, but they are still trying to confirm whether all those deaths are related to Hurricane Ian.
One confirmed death was reported in Polk County, Florida’s Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said at a Friday morning news briefing.
The remaining 20 deaths are unconfirmed, he said. They include 12 in Charlotte and eight in Collier. The medical examiner will determine if those deaths are related to the storm, which slammed into the state’s coast Wednesday afternoon.
Guthrie said that during a hasty search in Lee County, officials found what they believe to be human remains in a home that was completely underwater.
“We do not know how many were in the house. We had a Coast Guard rescue swimmer swim down into it and he could identify that it appeared to be human remains. We don’t know how many. We don’t know what the situation is,” he said. “We got a couple of other situations where we had that particular type situation.”
The director said they are waiting for the water to recede and for special equipment to be brought in before the home is thoroughly searched.
Satellite images show Hurricane Ian’s path
Hurricane Ian is 105 miles from Charleston, South Carolina
Ian is bringing tropical storm-force winds across much of the coast of the Carolinas. A life-threatening storm surge and hurricane conditions are expected by Friday afternoon, it cautioned.
The storm slammed into Florida’s coast Wednesday afternoon and left a trail of destruction in its wake. At least 12 people have been confirmed dead.
Flagler and Volusia counties in Florida up to Cape Fear, North Carolina, were under a storm surge warning as of Friday morning. Savannah River in South Carolina up to Cape Fear was under a hurricane warning, according to the update.
Ian is traveling north at around 9 mph and is expected to turn toward the north-northeast by Friday night. The center of the storm will reach the coast of South Carolina on Friday before it moves further inland across the state. The center said it’s predicted that Ian will then move toward central North Carolina by Friday night and Saturday morning.
'Hurricane-force' wind gust of 74 mph recorded in Charleston
A "hurricane-force" wind gust of 74 mph was recorded offshore from Charleston on Friday as Hurricane Ian headed toward South Carolina's coast, officials said.
The National Weather Service in Charleston said in a tweet the wind gust was measured by the Edisto Buoy offshore.
A flash flood warning has been issued for parts of the Charleston metro area through noon Friday, the weather service said in an earlier tweet. "As tide levels increase and rain intensifies, areas of flash flooding are likely to develop ahead of Hurricane Ian. Remain alert for changing conditions," it said.
Ian is expected to make landfall on South Carolina's coast sometime Friday afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center. It is not yet clear exactly when and where exactly it will make landfall.
Flying into Ian brought ‘most turbulence that I’ve ever felt,’ NOAA official says
A government engineer who flies planes into hurricanes for data collection said flying into Hurricane Ian was the roughest ride of his career so far.
“That was the most turbulence that I’ve ever felt on one of these hurricane flights in the six years that I’ve been doing this,” Nick Underwood, who works for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told MSNBC on Friday.
The “Hurricane Hunter” flies aircrafts into hurricane winds to collect data for the National Hurricane Center to track its movements in order to warn people to get out of harm's way.
'This will be a marathon, not a sprint to get cleaned up,' Fort Myers city manager says
The cleanup process in Fort Myers in the wake of Hurricane Ian will be a lengthy process, City Manager Marty Lawing told MSNBC on Friday.
“This will be a marathon, not a sprint to get cleaned up,” he said after the hurricane hit the city Thursday.
The city began assessing the scope of the damage at 11 p.m. Thursday, Lawing said. He warned the coming few days will be a "challenging time."
“It’ll be a challenging time, but the resources from our partners in the state and county, I think we’ll get through just fine,” he said.
Ian on track to reach South Carolina by Friday afternoon
Hurricane Ian is on track to hit South Carolina by Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service has warned.
“Life-threatening storm surge and hurricane conditions expected along the Carolina coast by this afternoon,” it warned in a 5 a.m. update. “Flooding rains likely across the Carolinas and Southern Virginia," it said.
The hurricane was situated around 146 miles south-southeast of the city of Charleston and traveling toward South Carolina at 85 mph around 5 a.m. Friday.
North Carolina governor urges for weather preparedness
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper has called on people to be prepared for extreme weather as heavy rains were expected in the state late Thursday and set to to spread westward Friday.
“Hurricane Ian reminds us how unpredictable these storms can be and North Carolinians should be prepared when it reaches our state,” he said in a statement Thursday.
“Heavy rains, up to seven inches in some areas, are likely to bring some flooding. Landslides are a threat in our mountains and there’s a chance of tornadoes statewide," the governor said. "Coastal flooding and gusty winds are likely as the storm passes through. This storm is still dangerous.”
Cooper urged people to have an emergency plan and supplies at the ready, and to ensure they receive weather alerts on their phones.
Cleanup effort in Fort Myers after Hurricane Ian passes
Universal Orlando Resort to reopen portions of park for hotel guests on Friday
The Universal Orlando Resort will begin reopening in phases to hotel guests beginning on Friday, the theme park announced on Thursday.
"We continue to conduct assessment and recover efforts across our entire destination with the safety of our guests and team members being our top priority," a Facebook statement read.
The theme park remained closed on Thursday during the extreme weather conditions.
'Life-threatening' storm surge, hurricane conditions expected along Carolina coast
Life-threatening storm surge and hurricane conditions are expected along the Carolina coast later on Friday, the National Weather Service has warned.
It said flooding rains were also likely across the Carolinas and Southwestern Virginia.
Ian is expected to approach and reach the coast of South Carolina later Friday.
Boats strewn across the roads of Fort Myers
Over 2.2 million customers without power in Florida
Over 2.2 million customers across Florida are still suffering from power outages as of early Friday morning, according to the online tracker poweroutage.us.
The power outages mostly affected the southwestern coast of the state, with Lee County seeing more than 411,000 customers left without power.
Hurricane Ian's winds strengthen to 85 mph as storm moves toward South Carolina's coast
Hurricane Ian’s winds strengthened to 85 mph as the storm moved toward an expected landfall on South Carolina’s coast Friday, forecasters said.
As of early Friday morning, maximum sustained winds for the storm were 85 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Ian was a Category 4 hurricane when it struck Florida, causing what officials say was historic damage. It weakened to a tropical storm before regaining hurricane status over the Atlantic Ocean on Thursday.
Its center was about 175 miles south of Charleston and was moving northeast at 10 mph, according to the hurricane center. It is expected to move into South Carolina on Friday, bringing what the weather agency warns is life-threatening storm surge, flooding and strong winds.