Live Updates: Ian downgraded to post-tropical cyclone

The Latest on Hurricane Ian:

MIAMI, Fla. — Major river flooding is expected to continue across parts of central Florida into next week as post-tropical storm Ian continues making its way up the East coast, according to the National Hurricane Center.

In an update late Friday afternoon, the agency advised that considerable other flooding will also occur into the evening in both North and South Carolina, as well as southeast Virginia, and local flooding could be expected in portions of northwest North Carolina and southern Virginia into early Saturday morning.

Although the intensity of the storm has decreased from hurricane strength, agency officials warned of life-threatening storm surge along the coasts of the Carolinas Friday night.

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KEY DEVELOPMENTS:

— Ian lashes South Carolina as Florida's death toll climbs

— Hurricane Ian heads for Carolinas after pounding Florida

— DeSantis shifts from provocateur to crisis manager after Ian

— In Ian’s wake, worried families crowdsource rescue efforts

— After Ian, the effects in southwest Florida are everywhere

— Find more AP coverage here: https://apnews.com/hub/hurricanes

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OTHER DEVELOPMENTS:

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — A commercial fishing boat anchored in the ocean near Myrtle Beach broke free and washed ashore on Friday, but no one was aboard, according to city police spokesman Master Cpl. Tom Vest.

The U.S. Coast Guard was called out to the boat on Thursday when it had mechanical problems, Vest said. Everyone got off the boat and it was anchored in the ocean near 82nd Avenue North. At some point Friday, however, the boat broke free and police began getting calls about the boat as it traveled about 8 miles (13 kilometers) south to the beach near Williams Street, he said.

Officials believe fluids were leaking from the boat and there was a strong smell of fuel, Vest said. Authorities have warned the public to stay away from the boat, saying it was extremely dangerous.

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CHARLESTON, S.C. — Ian has dropped from a hurricane to a post-tropical cyclone as it moved across South Carolina.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Ian, which carved a swath of destruction across Florida earlier this week, had maximum sustained winds of 70 mph (110 kph) Friday afternoon.

Ian hit Florida’s Gulf Coast as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph (240 kph) winds Wednesday, flooding homes and leaving nearly 2.7 million people without power.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Hurricane Ian has destroyed at least four piers along South Carolina’s northern coast.

The brunt of the surge and waves from the Category 1 storm hit around Myrtle Beach on Friday.

Police said the Pawley’s Island Pier was washed away first. Then local TV footage showed sections missing of the Cherry Grove Pier near North Myrtle Beach and the Apache and Second Avenue piers in Myrtle Beach.

An 85 mph (137 kph) wind gust was measured at Fort Sumter, the tiny island where the Civil War began about 4 miles (6.4 km) from downtown Charleston, the National Weather Service reported.

More than 200,000 customers were without power Friday afternoon in South Carolina as Ian moved onshore.

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ORLANDO, Fla. — University of Central Florida students living at an apartment complex near the Orlando campus, made homeless by the flooding, retrieved possessions Friday from their water logged units. Andee Holbert, her sister and their dog left their apartment Thursday before the water reached their heads. They returned Friday to retrieve wet clothes in garbage bags and whatever other possessions they could salvage, loading them onto their father’s pickup truck.

“We still had power, which is terrifying, and the lights were still on,” said Holbert, a nursing student. “And there’s knee deep water in there.”

Deandra Smith, also a nursing student, stayed in her third floor apartment with her dog after being asleep while others evacuated. On Friday, other students helped get her to dry land by pushing her through the flooded parking lot on a pontoon. She wasn’t sure if she should go back to her parents’ home in South Florida or find a shelter so she can still attend classes. “I’m still trying to figure it out,” she said.

RALEIGH, N.C. — Power outages have increased and some coastal rivers rose in North Carolina as heavy rain and winds from Hurricane Ian crept into the state Friday from the storm’s South Carolina landfall.

Gov. Roy Cooper says adjustments to the projected path of Ian could bring more trouble to central and eastern North Carolina than earlier believed. But he says the state’s emergency equipment and services have been staged to maximize flexibility.

He warns residents statewide to remain vigilant, given that up to 8 inches (20.3 centimeters) of rain could fall in some areas, with high winds.

More than 55,000 customers in North Carolina were without power as of mid-afternoon, according to PowerOutage.us, which aggregates outages nationwide.

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — A second pier in northern South Carolina has been destroyed by Hurricane Ian’s surge.

Local television footage showed the middle section of the Cherry Grove Pier near the North Carolina state line was washed away Friday afternoon by rising water and churning waves as Ian made landfall about 50 miles (80 kilometers) down the coast in Georgetown.

The area saw the brunt of the surge as Ian hit the United States again with flooded neighborhoods and widespread power outages.

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MIAMI — Hurricane Ian has made another landfall, this time in South Carolina, after carving a swath of destruction across Florida earlier this week.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Ian’s center came ashore Friday afternoon near Georgetown with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph (140 kph).

Ian hit Florida’s Gulf Coast as a powerful Category 4 hurricane with 150 mph (240 kph) winds Wednesday, flooding homes and leaving nearly 2.7 million people without power.

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Officials in Florida fear the death toll from Hurricane Ian could rise substantially, given the wide swath of the state swamped by the storm.

After making landfall with some of the highest windspeeds for a hurricane over U.S. territory, the storm flooded areas on both of Florida’s coasts, tore homes from their slabs, demolished beachfront businesses and left more than 2 million people without power. At least nine people have been confirmed dead in the U.S.

Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said responders have focused so far on “hasty” searches, aimed at emergency rescues and initial assessments, which will be followed by two additional waves of searches.

He said Friday that the initial responders might detect deaths without confirming them.

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CHARLESTON S.C. — A popular beach pier has broken apart in the winds and rain accompanying Hurricane Ian’s arrival in South Carolina.

The Pawleys Island Police Department said in a tweet Friday that a portion of the Pawleys Island pier had “collapsed” and was floating south.

The beach community was situated in the path of Ian, whose wind gusts knocked out power for thousands across the state Friday, downing trees and power lines in its path. Earlier Friday, officials closed a causeway connecting Pawleys Island to South Carolina’s mainland.

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CHARLESTON S.C. — Charleston County emergency services were suspended Friday as officials prepared for Hurricane Ian to make landfall on South Carolina’s coast.

In a tweet, officials said they were pausing response efforts “due to current wind conditions” and would resume service “as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Charleston police were also restricting access to the city’s Battery area, a spot at the tip of the peninsula that is home to many multi million-dollar, historic homes.

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced Friday that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee during the storm.

The Associated Press