Ian weakened to a tropical storm Friday evening, the National Hurricane Center said, hours after making landfall in South Carolina as a Category 1 hurricane. The storm was moving inland into North Carolina Friday night, causing flash floods and strong winds in that state.
The Hurricane Center said Ian made landfall near Georgetown, South Carolina, after 2 p.m. Friday with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. NHC reported that Ian was expected to weaken on Saturday and “dissipate early Sunday”.
NHC reported that the center of the storm was 60 miles southeast of Greensboro, North Carolina. It had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph, and was moving to the north at 15 mph.
In Florida, the extent of the devastation caused by the storm was beginning to become clear, as rescue operations continued and power and water outages continued. New images on Friday showed widespread debris and devastating flooding.
State emergency officials announced 21 deaths as of Friday morning, although they are not sure whether all are directly related to the storm. Additionally, in Volusia County, the Sheriff’s Department has confirmed two hurricane-related deaths there. As crews continue to search, the death toll could rise as officials learn more about the damage caused by Ian.