CHARLOTTE — Ian regained hurricane strength at about 5 p.m. Thursday and is heading toward the South Carolina coast.
The storm will likely make its second landfall between Charleston and Myrtle Beach by Friday afternoon. A hurricane warning was issued for the coast.
A tropical storm warning was issued for the area around Charlotte, which will see rain move in Friday morning.
>> Want to help victims of Hurricane Ian? Click here for information.
The rain will pick up through Friday for the Carolinas.
Winds are expected to be between 20 and 30 mph with higher gusts reaching 40 mph or more.
The peak of the storm in our area will be late Friday afternoon before it slowly settles down shortly after midnight.
Gusty winds, along with rainfall as the storm passes through could lead to some trees down and power outages. Short-lived tornadoes are also a small possibility.
Rain totals could be over 4 inches which will lead to flood concerns, especially east of Charlotte, where we expect to see higher rain totals.
There is still rain in the forecast for Saturday, but no longer a flooding risk. The winds also relax Friday night.
More showers are possible through Sunday and Monday but it won’t be as intense.
Recent dry conditions could diminish the overall flood risk.
VIDEO: Friday morning’s forecast update with Meteorologist Keith Monday
Severe Weather Center 9 will be tracking Ian as it arrives in the Carolinas.
>> Check back for updates. You can also go to the National Hurricane Center for the most up-to-date information.
The American Red Cross is urging everyone in the region to make their storm preparations now. The organization has disaster teams and more relief supplies on the way to the region to support people impacted by Ian.
Mecklenburg County government will close its offices at noon Friday.
Friday afternoon sessions at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse scheduled for Friday have been canceled.
The courthouse will be open to the public and employees in the morning. The building will close at 1 p.m.
The Clerk of Superior Court’s Office will be open until 1 p.m.
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library locations will close at noon on Friday.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency Wednesday that waives transportation rules to help transport fuel and critical supplies, help first responders and the agriculture industry and protect consumers from price gouging. The price gouging law is in effect, Attorney General Josh Stein announced Wednesday after Gov. Cooper issued a state of emergency. Click here for more information.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Ian moving north into the state.
Charlotte Motor Speedway opened its Rock City Campground beginning at 9 a.m. Wednesday for evacuees seeking refuge from Ian.
North Carolina Emergency Response prepares for storm
North Carolina is preparing for heavy rainfall and possible flooding on Friday and Saturday from the remnants of Ian. Gov. Roy Cooper reminds residents that now is the time to complete their personal preparations.
“While we don’t yet know exactly how this storm will impact our state, it’s clear that this will be a significant rain event for much of North Carolina, and now is the time for people to get prepared,” Cooper said. “We are tracking the storm closely and strongly encourage everyone across the state to have an emergency kit and emergency plan in place.”
The State Emergency Response Team will activate Thursday at the State Emergency Operations Center in Raleigh and plans to move to 24-hour operations on Friday morning.
Here are tips from state officials to make sure families are prepared:
- Have multiple ways to receive emergency info, including watches and warnings. Make sure emergency alerts are enabled on your cell phone and download a weather app.
- Have an emergency plan. Know where you would go if you need to evacuate. Make a plan to stay with family, friends or at a hotel. Public shelters should be a last resort.
- Gather some emergency supplies or refresh your emergency kit. Visit ReadyNC.gov for info on how to build an emergency kit.
- If you live by the coast, you should know if you live in a coastal evacuation zone. Visit KnowYourZone.nc.gov to see if you are in a predetermined evacuation zone. Learn your zone and listen for it if evacuations are ordered by local governments.
South Carolina holds news conference on Ian preparations
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and state emergency health officials are urging residents to take their basic precautions ahead of Ian.
During a Wednesday news conference, officials said there weren’t any current plans to close schools or delay classes for severe weather.
“We are of course in contact with the Department of Education, but those decisions will all depend on what’s happening,” McMaster said.
McMaster also said the state is not experiencing any impact to its fuel supply due to the storm.
“Hurricanes and tropical storms are not just a coastal event. The effects of a hurricane or tropical storm can be felt throughout South Carolina and right now, that’s what it’s forecast to be,” said Kim Stenson, director of South Carolina’s emergency management division.
Duke Energy prepares to respond
Duke Energy is getting ready to respond in anticipation of power outages during the storm later this week.
A spokesperson for Duke Energy said the utility company will have extra crews on call. There are also workers in the Midwest ready to deploy to the Carolinas.
Crews are inspecting utility lines in the area.
“In Charlotte, we have a lot of big trees with big limbs and so we work on that throughout the year to make sure those trees are trimmed appropriately,” Kureczka said.
Kureczka said that crews prepare year-round, so they don’t have to scramble ahead of the storms. The utility giant is also making improvements to its infrastructure.
“Throughout the year, Duke Energy is already working hard on improvements that are going to strengthen our grids,” said Kureczka. “So these will help avoid outages during times like hurricanes and other storms.”
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