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Ian’s death toll rises in Florida as storm churns toward North Carolina

Children watch the waves in Myrtle Beach, S.C., on Friday. (Melissa Sue Gerrits for The Washington Post)

Two days after dealing a devastating blow to Florida’s southwestern coast, Hurricane Ian made its second U.S. landfall, near Georgetown, S.C., as a much weaker storm.

Ian struck South Carolina on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane before lessening to a “post-tropical cyclone” and heading toward North Carolina.

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Meanwhile, Floridians are trying to recover after water and wind caused significant damage, flattening homes, cutting off power and destroying bridges and roads. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which staffs the state’s Medical Examiners Commission, said Friday evening that the commission had attributed 23 deaths to the storm. David Fierro, a department spokesman, said that number was likely to rise as medical examiners completed more autopsies.

Here’s what to know

  • The National Hurricane Center warned that the storm would bring a “life-threatening” surge and damaging winds. As the storm approached the coast, it produced a 4-foot surge in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
  • In an afternoon briefing, President Biden said he had been in touch with the governors of Florida and South Carolina and said he approved an emergency declaration request for South Carolina ahead of the storm’s landfall.
  • So far, 34,000 Florida residents have registered for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Friday.