LANDFALL: Hurricane Ian officially made landfall at 2:05 p.m. near Georgetown with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. This is Ian’s second landfall in the United States. It first made landfall in Cuba before taking on Florida’s west coast, making landfall as a powerful Category 4 storm at Cayo Costa near Fort Myers.
UPDATES: Hurricane Ian is nearing landfall between Charleston and Georgetown counties.
The Charleston Police Department is now restricting access to the Battery as Ian’s winds lash the coast.
Charleston County has temporarily suspended EMS operations.
Isle of Palms Fire Department is temporarily suspending operations.
Charleston Police officers are sheltering in place. They are only responding to critical calls.
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – Fierce wind and rain from Hurricane Ian are battering the South Carolina coast as the storm approaches landfall Friday morning.
Storm Team 2 meteorologists say the Category 1 storm is expected to make landfall somewhere between Charleston and Georgetown around midday. The core of Hurricane Ian is approximately 55 miles offshore as of 10:40 a.m.
The storm has knocked out power to thousands of customers and flooded roadways across the Lowcountry as heavy rain pushes ashore.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), Ian is moving north at 14 mph with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph. NWS forecasters say the highest peak wind gust so far was 83 mph recorded at Fort Sumter.
Law enforcement urged residents to stay off the road due to unsafe conditions. Emergency leaders have reported downed trees, debris, and coastal flooding across the area.
The Charleston International Airport closed its airfield – until 6:00 a.m. Saturday – as winds began to pick up Friday morning.
Ian re-strengthened into a Category 1 hurricane on Thursday as the storm set its sights on the South Carolina coastline.
Much of the Lowcountry began to feel impacts from the storm on Thursday by way of gusty winds, rain, and some coastal flooding. Those impacts increased in intensity throughout the morning.
“It still looks like there will be a South Carolina landfall of a Category 1 hurricane somewhere from upper Charleston County all the way to Little River Inlet early Friday afternoon,” said Storm Team 2 Chief Meteorologist Rob Fowler early Friday morning.
Fowler said heavier rain bands began to move onshore after midnight Friday and will increase throughout the morning along with strong, gusty winds.
WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
Hurricane Warning: Savannah, Georgia to Cape Fear, North Carolina.
Storm Surge Warning: Volusia County, Florida to Cape Fear, North Carolina
Tropical Storm Warning: Storm Surge Warning: Volusia County, Florida to Savannah, Georgia; Cape Fear to Duck, North Carolina
Storm Surge Watch: North pf Cape Fear to Duck, North Carolina; Pamlico River, Cape Fear River
Hurricane Watch: East of Cape Fear to Surf City
Forecasters say power outages and downed trees are likely due to the excessive rainfall and gusty winds associated with Ian. Be sure to download the News 2 app to receive weather alerts, breaking news, and watch News 2 live on your phone if you lose power during the storm.