Disaster Discourse: The Hagerty Blog

Many States Recover from Hurricane Ian after the Storm’s Second US Landfall


On Friday, September 30, Hurricane Ian made its second United States (US) landfall near Georgetown, South Carolina, at 2:05 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (EDT) as a Category (Cat) 1 Hurricane with sustained winds of 75 miles per hour (mph) and gusts of up to 92 mph. This comes after the storm caused catastrophic damage to Florida before re-entering the Atlantic Ocean as a Tropical Storm, where it again strengthened to a Cat 1 Hurricane. In South Carolina, Hurricane Ian caused widespread flooding and damage to coastal areas, with the storm surge reaching up to seven feet in some areas. Power outages peaked in South Carolina at 180,000 customers without power on Friday, but by Monday, power had been restored to all but approximately 3,000 customers.

Twitter: FEMA

Hurricane Ian weakened to a post-tropical cyclone as it moved across land into North Carolina on Friday. Despite being downgraded, the storm still brought winds, rain, flooding, tornados, and widespread power outages to the State. Williston, North Carolina, saw up to 8.1 inches of rainfall, and Dare and Currituck Counties faced wind gusts up to 61 mph. The statewide power outage count reached a peak of 418,000 customers without power at approximately 11 p.m. EDT on Friday, but by Monday, crews had restored power to all but 2,000 customers. As of Friday evening, September 30, the state’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Georgetown County has transitioned its efforts towards damage assessment and recovery operations, activating teams to evaluate and capture estimates of impacted areas. As authorities begin recovery efforts in North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper reported four confirmed fatalities in relation to Hurricane Ian. President Biden approved North Carolina’s emergency declaration on October 1, providing federal recovery support and reimbursement for protective expenses incurred during the storm. 

Hurricane Ian also brought severe flooding and storm-force winds along South Carolina’s coast, causing power outages and infrastructure damage to North Myrtle Beach and Pawleys Island piers. The storm then moved through Virginia on Sunday, bringing heavy rain with it. Additionally, remnants of Hurricane Ian are bringing a prolonged rain event and high winds to the US Northeast, including parts of New England, early this week.

Hurricane Ian’s Projected Path and Storm Surge: Source

In Florida, many communities remain without access to clean drinking water, with 150 boil water advisories active across 26 counties as of Monday morning, October 3. The Florida Division of Emergency Management (FDEM) has distributed 3.8 million bottles of water so far and continues to fulfill resource requests across the state. 

In a briefing released on October 2, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reported that more than 100 Disaster Survivor Assistance Team staff are positioned in the most severely impacted communities to begin identifying threats and initiating assistance applications. In addition, FEMA Administrator, Deanne Criswell, visited local officials in Florida on Friday, September 30, to discuss federal interagency response operations and the ongoing search and rescue efforts with a priority on healthcare facilities and barrier island communities. FEMA also approved Florida’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) waiver on October 2, allowing impacted policyholders to access a portion of their claims upfront without having to undergo the standard claims process.

Twitter: FEMA

FEMA offers advice and guidance for those currently being impacted by or previously affected by tropical storms and hurricanes. Individuals are encouraged to secure their homes and remain up-to-date with information from the local officials and their local government/emergency management office. The Hagerty Blog Team will continue providing information and updates.