The latest on Hurricane Ian:
HINDMAN, Ky. — Emergency officials in eastern Kentucky, which was devastated by historic flooding in July, are closely watching the path of Hurricane Ian.
Knott County Emergency Management Director Jeff Combs said officials are closely monitoring the storm and plan to have spotters starting Friday to watch for trigger points in area waterways that are most likely to flood. “in case everything starts going south.” About us.”
If things start to look bad, he said the agency will issue an alert so rescue teams can respond quickly.
Historic flooding inundated parts of eastern Kentucky in late July, leaving dozens dead. Full recovery is expected to take years in the most affected areas.
— Tampa International Airport to reopen Friday
— Florida hospitals evacuate hundreds of patients
— Search for migrants after boat sinks off Florida Keys
— Cuba begins to turn on lights
— Find more AP coverage here: https://apnews.com/hub/hurricanes
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden said Thursday that “our entire country is suffering” along with the people of Florida after Hurricane Ian flooded communities across the state, knocking out power and forcing people into shelters.
Biden said he would visit Florida and meet with Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis when “conditions allow.” The president said he would also visit Puerto Rico, a US territory hit by Hurricane Fiona.
“We know that many families are suffering,” Biden said at the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Washington headquarters, where he was briefed on federal response efforts. “Our whole country hurts with them.”
CHARLESTON, SC — The mayor of Charleston, South Carolina, is asking his city to close on Friday as Storm Ian approaches.
“Tomorrow there will be water in this city,” Mayor John Tecklenburg said.
No evacuations have been ordered in South Carolina, and Ian is forecast to make a second landfall Friday along the state’s coast as a minimal hurricane.
Forecasters are warning that several feet of ocean water could surge in low-lying areas along the coast, such as Charleston.
Flooding could rival or even slightly exceed recent hurricanes.
“Take this storm seriously,” Tecklenburg said. “Tomorrow, stay home and stay out of harm’s way.”
Charleston has purchased new equipment to deal with flooding, including two high water vehicles that will patrol the city throughout Friday.
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. — Police in historic St. Augustine, Fla., say water is rising in many areas of the city and are advising residents to stay indoors until Hurricane Ian passes.
The center of the storm moved away from the coast early Thursday, but the old city continued to see rain and wind. High tide was at 11:30 am, around the height of the storm.
Police in the resort town, known for its Spanish-style architecture and stone fortress, made their warnings in a Facebook post that included images of flooded roads.
Ian is again approaching hurricane strength over the Atlantic Ocean. The South Carolina coast is now under a hurricane warning.
Its maximum sustained winds grew to nearly 70 mph (110 kph) by noon Thursday, just shy of hurricane force, with higher gusts.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Storm Ian is again approaching hurricane strength over the Atlantic Ocean after swirling past Cape Canaveral, where NASA moved its moon rocket back to the Kennedy Space Center hangar as a precaution.
A NASA spokesman said Thursday that crews were beginning to assess any damage. The space center remained closed and off limits to nearly all of its 12,000 employees.
A 2-foot (0.6-meter) storm surge was forecast in the surrounding area, and maximum sustained winds increased to nearly 70 mph (110 kph) with higher gusts at noon.
In addition to delaying the lunar-orbiting test flight to likely November, weather has delayed SpaceX’s next launch of astronauts to the International Space Station until at least October 5, two days later than scheduled.
Ian’s maximum sustained winds increased to nearly 70 mph (110 kph) with higher gusts by noon Thursday.
ORLANDO, Fla. — Some people who say they are stranded or unable to get information after Hurricane Ian are turning to social media.
One Twitter user tagged the accounts of the Orange County rescue teams in central Florida with the message: “Can you guys come get us? We called the non-emergency line and were told to wait until someone showed up. Family of 3, dog and pregnant mother with twins.”
On the Fort Myers Police Department Facebook page, people posted addresses and asked about the severity of the flooding. Some people who live out of state but have property in the area asked if they could travel to check on their homes.
“Does anyone know the status of the Wyldewood Lakes Court area? Trying to find out how my aunt is. We lost contact,” someone posted.
Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office said search and rescue operations had been underway since 1 a.m. Thursday. The Coast Guard conducted dozens of rescues overnight and there are more than 800 urban search and rescue team members on duty, the office said.
(The above item was updated to correct the Governor’s name to Ron, instead of Fred.)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida’s leading nursing home organization said Thursday that initial reports indicate the facilities have weathered Hurricane Ian “as well as they can.”
Kristen Knapp, a spokeswoman for the Florida Health Care Association, said 43 nursing homes moved about 3,400 residents as of Thursday morning, the majority in hard-hit Southwest Florida.
As many as 20 homes have reported power outages, but Knapp said generators are powering those buildings. The water was also cut off in some facilities.
Natural disasters can be especially damaging to the elderly and disabled, and previous hurricanes have produced devastating episodes.
NAPLES, Fla. — Mud, broken trees and downed utility poles blanketed the Southwest Florida landscape Thursday after it took a direct hit from Hurricane Ian.
Several feet of seawater swept through the luxury Le Jarden condominium tower on the Naples Bay front, destroying several cars and flooding the lobby, then receding overnight, leaving behind a thick, foul-smelling slurry of sand and seawater.
No one in the building was hurt, said resident Gregory Young, a retired real estate broker, but his Land Rover was destroyed.
“Okay, it’s just a car,” he said.
The Fort Myers RV Resort remained underwater, many of the mobile homes and RVs on the property severely damaged and in some cases gone, with nothing left but the concrete slabs they once sat on.
Debris from the park accumulated along US 41, including a golf cart seat and twisted pieces of a window screen. Utility poles were downed, cables extended into the road and along the front of the property.
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