As the storm gets worse, Biden declares an emergency in South Carolina.

Hours before Hurricane Ian, which is forecast to make landfall Friday at noon near Charleston, President Biden issued an emergency proclamation in South Carolina. In addition to local response operations, the White House will dispatch government aid, and the National Hurricane Center issued a warning about “life-threatening flooding, storm surge, and powerful winds” in the Carolinas.

The worst of the storm, which is predicted to hit the Carolina beaches over the next few hours, is approaching with Ian less than 100 miles offshore. Flash flood warnings have already been issued in certain regions, including Charleston, due to rain.

Officials in Florida were determining how much damage Ian had caused because some regions were still suffering from its severe storm surges. By midday, over 2 million people were still without power as debris littered Florida’s western shore. Nearly 20 deaths that had remained unconfirmed as of Friday, according to state officials, had at least one storm-related death. More than 700 confirmed rescues had been made as of late Thursday, despite ongoing search efforts.

What You Need To Know

According to the National Hurricane Center, Ian is predicted to make landfall in South Carolina this afternoon with winds of up to 85 mph. Due to severe winds associated with Ian, the airfield at Charleston International Airport had been closed as of Friday morning.

The Hurricane Center predicts that Ian will “rapidly weaken over the southeastern United States late Friday into Saturday” once it makes landfall in the Carolinas. In some areas of the southern Mid-Atlantic, heavy rain and flooding are still expected as the storm weakens.

As of Friday morning, state officials reported there has been confirmation of at least one storm-related death in Florida. According to DeSantis, some counties have almost no power, and the state continues to give top priority to power restoration and damage assessment.