A re-energized Hurricane Ian on Sept. 30 made landfall in South Carolina, according to U.S. weather officials.

The center of the hurricane made landfall at 2:05 p.m. near Georgetown, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm had sustained winds of 85 miles per hour, much lower than the 150 mile per hour winds that struck Florida when the hurricane hit there on Wednesday. The difference means the storm is a category 1, versus a category 4 when it landed in Florida.

“This is not as bad as it could have been,” South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster told reporters in Columbia before the hurricane made landfall in his state. “A lot of prayers have been answered but I would ask people, don’t quit yet because it’s still coming. We are not out of the woods.”

Officials warned people to stay indoors and avoid driving unless necessary.

Hurricane Ian moved north through Florida before going off-land. Along the way, it weakened to a tropical storm before gaining strength again before it reached South Carolina.

Forecasters project the storm will keep moving north before turning slightly to north-northwest by the evening. It is expected to move inland across eastern South Carolina and central North Carolina on Friday and Saturday.

The storm “should dissipate” over North Carolina or Virginia late Oct. 1, according to National Hurricane Center officials.

Storm surge warnings are in place from Savannah River to Cape Fear in North Carolina, in Neuse River in North Carolina, and in St. Johns River in Florida. Other warnings are in place in coastal South Carolina and Georgia.

The storm has been causing life-threatening water surges along with heavy rain and winds.

At least 21 people were killed in Florida, Kevin Guthrie, an emergency official there, told reporters earlier Friday. That figure is expected to climb in the coming days.


Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.

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