Hurricane Ian tracker – live updates: Tropical storm regains strength as category one hurricane as it nears South Carolina

Hurricane Ian: Waves flood roads in Key West as storm strengthens to category 4

After spending most of Thursday as a tropical storm, Ian was upgraded to a hurricane again as it takes aim at the South Carolina coastline.

The National Hurricane Center stated in its 5pm ET update that Hurricane Ian was “taking aim at the Carolinas and Georgia with life-threatening flooding, storm surge and strong winds.”

“Ian could slightly strengthen before landfall, and is forecast to rapidly weaken over the southeastern United States late Friday into Saturday,” the advisory said.

Dozens of rescue operations have been taking place across Florida after unprecedented flooding from one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded in the United States.

Thousands of people are stranded across the state as coastguard helicopters were seen plucking people from roofs after several feet of water surged into neighbourhoods. Some 2.5million people were currently without power.

Meanwhile, the damage and economic losses caused by Hurricane Ian could amount to as much as $120bn, according to a new estimate.

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Study finds that climate change added 10% to Ian’s rainfall

A quick study by two scientists calculates that climate change made Hurricane Ian 10 per cent rainier than it would have been if there were no such thing as global warming.

Read the full piece by Seth Borenstein here:

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Why you shouldn’t linger in hurricane floodwaters

As Hurricane Ian slammed Florida, with wind speeds over 150mph, multiple people have shared videos of themselves swimming through floodwaters. Read here to know why you shouldn’t do the same:

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Death toll climbs after sheriff predicts hundreds of lives lost

ICYMI: At least five people are believed to have been killed in Fort Myers and the surrounding Lee County area following Hurricane Ian officials have said, though that number may have risen to as many as 12 based on reports from Florida officials.

Gino Spocchia has the story.

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They hunkered down in Disney World for Hurricane Ian – this is what it was like

The vacation center became a vital sanctuary for thousands as the powerful storm swept through Florida, Bevan Hurley writes.

Read the full piece here:

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Hurricane Ian could result in up to $120bn in damage

The damage and economic losses caused by Hurricane Ian could amount to as much as $120bn, according to a new estimate.

AccuWeather and CEO Dr Joel N Myers said in a press release that “Ian will go down as one of the most damaging and impactful storms in the US history, along with 2017’s Hurricanes Harvey, which caused $190 billion in total damage and economic loss, and Irma ($80 billion); Sandy in 2012 ($210 billion); Katrina in 2005, ($320 billion), as adjusted for inflation.”

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NFL game to go ahead in Tampa on Sunday night

ICYMI: The Sunday night NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs will go ahead in the Florida city in the wake of Hurricane Ian, the home team has announced.

“We have informed the NFL, after consulting with local and state agencies, that we are ready to play Sunday night’s game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Raymond James Stadium as originally scheduled,” the team said in a statement.

The game is scheduled to kick off at 8.20pm ET.

“We would like to thank all of the local government agencies and the thousands of emergency personnel who worked tirelessly over the past few days to ensure that our area would be ready to respond if needed. We would also like to acknowledge the Miami Dolphins organization for their assistance and hospitality in allowing us to use their practice facilities this week,” the statement added.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with the many thousands in the Southwest Florida region who have been severely impacted by Hurricane Ian. We are also very thankful that the Tampa Bay area was spared the most damaging consequences of this powerful storm.”

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ICYMI: Hurricane Ian flooding captured on stunning aerial video

Hurricane Ian flooding captured on stunning aerial video

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Aftermath of Hurricane Ian could wreak havoc on insurance market: ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it is’

ICYMI: Hurricane Ian has brought widespread devastation to Florida, with many areas facing months or years of rebuilding, and for many residents, the recovery process might be prolonged without proper flood insurance, property insurance or other reimbursements for damages.

Ethan Freedman has the details.

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Two deaths on Sanibel Island, say officials

Around 200 households stayed on the island during Hurricane Ian, and Mayor Holly Smith says that there have been two fatalities.

Rescuers removed 40 people from the island, which has been cut off after its bridge collapsed, by boat on Thursday. The mayor said that 12 of those had sustained injuries during the storm.

(AP)

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Trump begs for donations from Mar-a-Lago as Hurricane Ian wreaks destruction across Florida

ICYMI: Donald Trump turned to social media to plead for donations to his political campaign as parts of Florida began rescue and recovery efforts following Hurricane Ian.

Speaking in a video on Wednesday from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, southern Florida, the former president pleaded for donations to his Save America PAC ahead of a fundraising deadline.

“We have a major fundraising deadline coming up and there’s never been a time like this,” said Mr Trump, who claimed America had “never been so disrespected” by the world.

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