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At least 30 dead from Ian, one of strongest, costliest US storms


PAWLEYS ISLAND: Rescuers search for survivors amid the rubble of homes flooded in Florida by the storm Ian while authorities in South Carolina began assessing the damage from its attack there as the remnants of one of the most powerful and costly hurricanes ever to make landfall in the United States continued to push north .
At least 30 people have been confirmed dead, including 27 in Florida, mostly from drowning but also from the catastrophic aftermath of the storm. Authorities say an elderly couple died after their oxygen ventilator went off during a power outage.
The powerful storm terrorized millions for much of the week, ravaging western Cuba before passing through Florida from the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean, where it gathered enough strength for an attack. finally entered South Carolina. Now weakened to a post-tropical cyclone, Ian is expected to move over central North Carolina Saturday morning then move into Virginia and New York.
Meanwhile, distraught residents waded through knee-deep water on Friday, scooping up possible possessions from their flooded homes and loading them into rafts and canoes.
“I want to sit in the corner and cry. I don’t know what else to do,” said Stevie Scuderi after trudging through her now-demolished Fort Myers apartment, the mud in the kitchen clinging to her purple slippers. .
In South Carolina, Ian’s center came ashore near Georgetown, a small community along Winyah Bay about 60 miles (95 km) north of historic Charleston. The storm washed away parts of four piers along the coast, including two connecting the popular tourist town of Myrtle Beach.
The storm’s winds on Friday were much weaker than when Ian made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast earlier in the week. Authorities and volunteers there are still assessing the damage as shocked residents try to understand what they’ve just been through.
Anthony Rivera, 25, said he had to climb through the window of his first-floor apartment during the storm to carry his grandmother and girlfriend to the second floor. As they rushed out of the high water, the high tide swept away a boat right next to his apartment.
“It was the scariest thing in the world because I couldn’t stop the boat,” he said. “I’m not a superhero.”
Pawleys Island, a beach community about 73 miles (117 km) up the coast of South Carolina from Charleston, was one of the places Ian was hardest hit.
Eddie Wilder, who has been to Pawleys Island for more than six decades, said Friday’s storm was “crazy to watch.” He said waves as high as 25 feet (7.6 meters) washed away the pier, just two doors from his home.
“We saw it hit the pier and saw the dock disappear,” Wilder said. “I’ve seen quite a few hurricanes, and this one is very wild. …We have a front row seat.”
Pawleys Pier was one of at least four along the South Carolina coast destroyed in Ian’s rain and wind.
“We watched it crumble and watched it float with an American flag still hovering,” Wilder said.
The bridges on Pawleys Island are strewn with palm leaves, pine needles and even a kayak taken from a nearby shoreline. An inter-coastal waterway is dotted with the remains of several houseboats that were torn apart and knocked out their navigators in the storm.
Although Ian had long since moved to Florida, new problems continued to arise. A 14-mile (22 km) section of Interstate 75 was closed late Friday in both directions in the Port Charlotte area due to a large surge in the Myakka River.
Ross Giarratana, a meteorologist at National Weather Service in Tampa, Myakka peaked at a record 12.73 feet (3.88 meters) on Saturday morning.
Farther southeast, the Peace River was also in a major flood stage early Saturday in Polk, Hardee and DeSoto counties. Giarratana says most of those spots don’t have a crest.
“It is crazy to see how quickly rivers rise,” he said. “We knew we were involved for some record stuff.”
The official death toll rose throughout Friday, with authorities warning that it is likely to soar much higher as crews carry out a more comprehensive examination of the damage. Searches are aimed at emergency rescues and initial assessment, Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said.
Hurricane Ian According to disaster modeling firm Karen Clark & ​​Co., disaster modeling firm Karen Clark & ​​Co. has the potential to cause “more than $100 billion” in damage, including $63 billion in privately-insured losses, which frequently make estimates of flash disasters. US history.

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