CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Ian strengthened to a Category 1 hurricane Thursday evening as it moves over the Atlantic towards the South Carolina Coast.
After making landfall in Florida Wednesday and decimating much of the state, Ian weakened to a tropical storm.
The National Hurricane Center said that as of 11:00 p.m. Thursday, Ian remained a Category 1 hurricane with 85 mile per hour winds and gusts of around 100 miles per hour, and was located about 185 miles south of Charleston.
The Lowcountry began feeling Ian’s impacts Thursday in the form of strong winds and rising waters.
Friday morning and afternoon are expected to bring the most significant impacts, with four to eight inches of rain expected. High tide is at 11:41 a.m. Friday, which could be around the time Ian makes landfall in the Lowcountry.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
The eye of the storm is currently on track to make landfall Friday afternoon near the Charleston Harbor or just to the north.
Serious flooding and storm surge is expected. Officials have urged those living in low-lying areas or barrier island to seek shelter on higher ground.
The National Hurricane Center said that “the deepest water will occur along the immediate coast near and to the right of the center, where the surge will be accompanied by large waves.”
Tornados and waterspouts could form during the overnight hours.
Strong winds are expected to cause significant issues overnight Thursday through Friday. Downed trees, power outages, and unsafe driving conditions are all serious possibilities.
Gusts of up to 45 miles per hour in Charleston, 60 miles per hour in Mount Pleasant, and 44 miles per hour more inland in places like Summerville could be seen Friday afternoon.
WATCHES AND WARNINGS:
HURRICANE WARNING: Charleston County, coastal Colleton County, inland and tidal Berkeley County, Georgetown County, and Williamsburg County
TROPICAL STORM WARNING: Inland Colleton County and Dorchester County
STORM SURGE WARNING: Charleston County, coastal Colleton County, and coastal Georgetown County
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.