Ian makes landfall in South Carolina; ‘Herculean’ rescue effort ongoing in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis says:

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Ian made landfall Friday on the coast of South Carolina, inundating the region with potentially life-threatening flooding and damaging winds, just days after the storm battered Florida.

Ian hit near Georgetown, South Carolina, about 60 miles north of Charleston, just after 2 p.m. as a Category 1 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. The storm is expected to wreak havoc on South Carolina, Georgia and other states along the East Coast as it moves inland by Saturday.

The storm weakened to a post-tropical cyclone Friday afternoon, with maximum sustained winds of 70 mph.

Trees have been toppled, roads flooded and over 69,000 households had already lost power in South Carolina, officials said at a Friday news conference. That number had risen to over 180,000 customers without power immediately after landfall, according to poweroutage.us. The state’s five shelters were at 15% capacity ahead of landfall.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster said no deaths have been reported in the state yet, “but there’s still life-threatening conditions.” He urged residents to stay off flooded roadways.

“This is not as bad as it could have been. A lot of prayers have been answered,” he said. “…But we’re not out of the woods.”

Ian is the first landfalling hurricane in South Carolina since Matthew in 2016, according to Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach.

Officials in Florida, meanwhile, were assessing the damage and continuing search and rescue efforts after Ian slammed into the Fort Myers area on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm. There were 21 deaths, but Florida Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said Friday that only one was confirmed as a result of the storm. Officials were still evaluating the cause of the 20 other deaths.

There had been 700 rescues as of Friday morning, officials said. Meanwhile, 1.9 million customers were still without power across the state, and Lee County was without water after a main break.

“There’s been really a Herculean effort,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday morning

Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott sent a joint letter Friday to the Senate Appropriations Committee chairs to secure funding to “provide much needed assistance to Florida.”

“Hurricane Ian will be remembered and studied as one of the most devastating hurricanes to hit the United States,” they wrote. “Communities across Florida have been completely destroyed, and lives have been forever changed.”

GET TEXT UPDATES:Sign up here for text updates on Ian.

BEFORE AND AFTER:A look at Ian’s damage.
‘IT’S LIKE A WAR ZONE’: Residents start to rebuild
IAN HITS FORT MYERS: Buildings leveled. Homes underwater.

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