Hurricane Ian’s path is headed toward South Carolina, a tracker update shows today. The storm devastated parts of Florida, and now the coastal cities of South Carolina are bracing for impact with threats of life-threatening storm surge in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
The National Weather Service reported storm system Ian is now a Category 1 hurricane as it heads toward South Carolina. The storm made landfall along the southwestern coast of Florida as a Category 4 hurricane Wednesday, September 29, 2022.
At least 19 people have died, according to CNN. Search and rescue efforts are ongoing in Florida to assist those who were caught in the storm’s path.
Here’s what you need to know:
The National Weather Service Warned of Life-Threatening Conditions for Florida, Georgia & South Carolina Through Friday
The National Weather Service reported the danger of life-threatening storm surge in the coastal parts of Georgia, South Carolina and northeastern Florida through Friday, September 30, 2022.
The impacts of a storm surge can include large areas covered with deep water due to flooding, structural damage and buildings washing away, locations that remain uninhabitable for an extended period of time, large road sections severely flooded or washed out and major damage to marinas, boardwalks and piers, according to the National Weather Service.
“The extremely dangerous conditions that Ian unleashed — including catastrophic floods and life-threatening storm surges — will continue as the storm moves toward Georgia and South Carolina,” CNN reported.
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Hurricane Ian Could Hit South Carolina During High Tide, Exacerbating Flooding Concerns
NOAA Tides and Currents shows Hurricane Ian could hit coastal South Carolina during high tide, which could worsen the impact of flooding.
“Hurricane-force winds are expected across coasts of South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina beginning early Friday,” the National Weather Service wrote on Twitter. “Be ready for tree damage.”
The high tide is expected in Charleston at 11:41 a.m. Eastern time, “a city that is especially vulnerable to coastal flooding,” according to CNN. In Myrtle Beach, the high tide is expected at 11:18 a.m. ET. Forecasts show the hurricane is expected to make landfall in South Carolina around or just after the times of high tide.
Why this is important: Tidal ranges along the Eastern Seaboard are much larger than they are in the Gulf of Mexico. Ian initially made landfall in Cuba before hitting the southwestern coast of Florida on Wednesday.
In Charleston and Myrtle Beach, the difference in water levels from high to low tide is around 6 feet. This could be critical because a storm surge of 4-7 feet on top of high tide will exacerbate the flooding in low-lying areas.
The National Weather Service also warned South Carolina residents of hurricane-force winds, and posted a graphic showing how a fallen tree could damage a home.
The NWS also advised caution during power outages.
“Power outages have their own set of hazards,” the National Weather Service wrote on Twitter. “Be especially careful with generators — never use them inside or in garages to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Use flashlights, not candles, to avoid risk of fire.”