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Ian lashes South Carolina as death toll in Florida climbs

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Posted at 5:04 AM, Sep 30, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-30 21:04:11-04

After devastating Florida, Hurricane Ian made landfall in South Carolina as a Category 1 storm on Friday.

After making landfall near Georgetown around 2:05 p.m. ET, the storm, although with much weaker winds than it did when it struck Florida, still washed away parts of four piers along the coast, including two at Myrtle Beach, the Associated Press reported.

At the time, the National Hurricane Center said it had top sustained winds of 85 mph, with some top wind speeds clocking in at 70 mph.

The U.S. death toll from Hurricane Ian rose to 17 as Florida authorities confirmed several drowning deaths and other fatalities.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Friday that the deaths included a 22-year-old woman ejected in an ATV rollover because of a road washout.

Officials added that a 71-year-old man fell off a roof while putting up rain shutters, and an 80-year-old woman and a 94-year-old man who died after the oxygen machines they relied on stopped working because of power outages, the Associated Press reported.

Other deaths were drownings, including that of a 68-year-old woman swept into the ocean by a wave.

Authorities still expect the death toll to rise substantially with rescue and recovery efforts underway.

According to CNN, only one hospital in Florida was operating in Charlotte County.

"We need everything," said Claudette Smith, Charlotte County sheriff's public information officer, to the news outlet. "To put it plain and simple, we need everything. We need all hands on deck. I know the people people who have come to our assistance have been tremendously helpful but we do need everything. We need resources we need to get our community back together and it's going to take some time but we can get through it"

Ian is expected to move across North Carolina early Saturday.

On Friday, President Joe Biden approved South Carolina's emergency declaration, which frees up federal resources to deal with the storm and its aftermath.

Ian has made landfall three times, first crossing over Cuba, then massive destruction in Florida before moving to the Atlantic and hitting South Carolina.