Hurricane Ian Updates: Orange County Shares Photos of Dog Rescues

Live Updates
  • Hurricane Ian made landfall in Georgetown, South Carolina Friday afternoon as a Category 1 storm, after causing devastation across parts of Florida.
  • Photos and videos have emerged showing destruction in areas like Fort Myers Beach in Florida, which a local politician said "will need to be completely rebuilt."
  • Nearly 1.8 million customers remain without power in Florida as of Friday afternoon, as power outages become more widespread in South Carolina.
  • Hurricane Ian could result in up to $120 billion in damages and economic losses, according to an AccuWeather report.

Live updates have ended.

Orange County Shares Photos of Dog Rescues

Officials in Orange County, Florida, shared photos Friday morning of pet rescues in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

"Pets are family. Period," the county wrote in tweet with four photos of dogs being moved out of floodwater. Three photos showed people carrying pets over their shoulders or in their arms, while the fourth showed rescue crews securing two dogs inside a small rescue boat.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office (OCSO) retweeted the photos and wrote, "We could not agree more."

The OCSO posted other pet-related content on social media Thursday as authorities conducted search and rescue operations. In one tweet, the OCSO shared a photo of a deputy carrying a dog through floodwater that appeared to be knee-deep. A second photo showed the same dog sitting inside a rescue vehicle with its owner.

"An OCSO deputy carried this dog to safety earlier today during rescue operations in Orlo Vista," the tweet said. "Both the dog and the dog's owner were evacuated from their home."

Six Injured By Massive Wave in Miami Beach

Several people in Miami Beach, Florida were injured when storm surge flooded into the streets.

City spokesperson Melissa Berthier told the Miami Herald that the incident took place at 10:45 a.m. Four women and two men suffered minor injuries, she said.

Witness told WSVN-TV that some people had cuts on their arms and legs, while others suffered injuries to their head.

The station also reported one man knocked over by the wave was being treated with bandages on his arm and foot.

Local resident Williams Schachte told WSVN-TV that he has "never seen the water this turbulent, ever."

Another resident, Tim Carr, said he was shocked to see the ocean conditions.

"It's kind of the perfect storm between king tides this month and I think the remnants of Ian," he told the station.

The area has now been closed off until further notice.

Miami Beach authorities issued a high surf advisory Friday until 8 p.m.

"Swimming and surfing conditions are dangerous," the Miami Beach Fire Department said. "Please stay out of the water for your own safety and the safety of our Ocean Rescue lifeguards."

The City of Miami Beach told people to "maintain a safe distance from waves."

Video Shows Storm Surge Near Myrtle Beach

A video clip shared on Twitter Friday afternoon by a reporter in South Carolina showed the power of the storm surge impacting Arcadian Shores near Myrtle Beach as the state braced for Hurricane Ian's impact.

The 22-second video, which was filmed from above, starts as a wave crashes over a fence separating the ocean from Arcadian Shores. The wave then races through the area, surrounding trees and bushes with water while engulfing pathways.

The WMFB-TV meteorologist credited the video to Lisa Foley.

Disney World, Universal Begin Reopening

Walt Disney World and Universal Orlando Resort began reopening Friday after conducting assessments of damages caused by Hurricane Ian.

Both theme parks closed earlier this week ahead of the hurricane's arrival in Florida. In updates posted Thursday on the parks' websites and social media pages, Disney World and Universal said each would begin a "phased" reopening on Friday, with additional parts of the parks expected to reopen in the days ahead.

According to a Friday update posted on Disney World's website at 11:30 a.m. ET, the Magic Kingdom Park and EPCOT were both open by noon, while Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park were open by 1 p.m. Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex will open later Friday.

Disney World said the Typhoon Lagoon won't reopen until Sunday, while temporary closures will remain in place for Winter Summerland Miniature Golf and Fairways Miniature Golf.

Universal said its assessment and recovery operations will continue Friday.

"We expect to begin a phased reopen of portions of our destination for our hotel guests only beginning Friday, Sept. 30," Universal said on its website. The park said additional reopening information will be posted on its website and social media channels once available.

Lee County Reports 16 Storm-Related Deaths

The Hurricane Ian death toll continues to rise as Lee County reports 21 new fatalities following the destruction of the storm.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno told reporters Friday afternoon that the county conformed 16 deaths related to the storm and five deaths that were unrelated to the storm.

"Our hearts go out to friends and family who lost their loved one in this tragic storm," he said.

Charleston Hit With Flooding, Downed Trees

Even before Hurricane Ian made its third landfall in South Carolina, the state was feeling the impacts of the storm.

Strong winds, heavy rain and storm surge hit coastal communities, including Charleston.

Streets across the city were flooded, causing roads to be blocked off and water to be pumped away from communities.

Flooded Streets Blocked Off Charleston, SC
Flooding Charleston, SC
Pumping Water Away from Charleston, SC
Flooded street with Cars Charleston

The Charleston Police Department entered a shelter in place order earlier this afternoon due to the severe weather conditions. Full police service has now been restored.

Several trees have also been knocked down by heavy winds.

Downed Trees Charleston, SC
A firefighter examines a large tree across a road as the effects from Hurricane Ian are felt, Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Charleston, S.C. Alex Brandon/AP Photo

Charleston International Airport recorded winds of 65 mph Friday afternoon, just before landfall, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

Some areas of Charleston received up to seven inches of rain over the last 24 hours, according the NWS. A Flash Flood Warning continues in the Charleston area until 5 p.m. tonight.

Power Out for Over 185k Customers in South Carolina

Power continues to go out across parts of South Carolina as Hurricane Ian made landfall in Georgetown Friday afternoon.

Over 185,000 customers were without power as of 2:45 p.m. ET this afternoon, according to PowerOutage.us. The bulk of the outages are reported in the eastern part of the state, with the most outages reported in Charleston and Berkeley Counties.

Biden Says Teams Rescued 117 People So Far

President Joe Biden said federal officials have assisted in rescuing 117 people along the southwest coast of Florida "so far" while providing an update Friday afternoon on the federal government's response to Hurricane Ian.

The U.S. Coast Guard was sent in to assist with search and rescue efforts, Biden said. The 117 rescues were made in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. National Guard, state and local officials, Biden said.

The president said he has spoken with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis "on multiple occasions" about the situation in Florida and has also spoken with mayors of heavily impacted areas. After initially approving nine counties in Florida for individual disaster assistance, Biden said his administration approved four additional counties for the same federal aid in the last day.

Biden said he also spoke with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster earlier Friday as Hurricane Ian prepared to make landfall again. Biden said he received an emergency declaration request from McMaster Thursday night, "which I approved right away, just as I did for Florida."

"My message to the people of South Carolina is simple: Please listen to all the warnings and directions from local officials, and follow their instructions," Biden said.

Hurricane Ian Makes Landfall

Hurricane Ian has officially made landfall in South Carolina Friday.

The National Hurricane Center said the center of the storm hit near Georgetown, SC at 2:05 p.m. Friday.

The Category 1 hurricane made landfall with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph and an estimated minimum central pressure of 977 mb.

Part of Pawleys Island Pier Collapses

Part of a pier on Pawleys Island broke apart on Friday as Hurricane Ian approached the coast of South Carolina.

The Pawleys Island Police Department shared before and after photos of the pier on Twitter that showed a portion of it had "collapsed" and was "floating south."

The department posted several photos and videos depicting the intensifying weather conditions on Pawleys Island as South Carolina braced for the hurricane's arrival. One video showed "catastrophic" flooding in an area police identified as the 700 block of Springs Avenue. Additional photos of Springs Avenue offered a different view of the tidal surge's impact.

Another photo posted earlier Friday showed a resident's dock was "blocking" North Causeway Road "in front of town hall."

Biden Spoke with South Carolina Governor

President Joe Biden spoke with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster Friday morning as Hurricane Ian is set to make landfall soon.

The White House said Biden and McMaster discussed the steps the Biden-Harris Administration is taking to support South Carolina in preparation for the landfall of Hurricane Ian.

Biden approved an Emergency Declaration for South Carolina Thursday night to direct federal assistance to the state ahead of Ian's landfall.

"The President told the Governor that the Administration is here to provide whatever assistance the people of South Carolina need, and asked the Governor to stay in touch," the White House said in a readout of the call.

During a press briefing Friday, McMaster said the impact of the storm so far is "not as bad as it could have been" but still urges residents to be safe.

"A lot of prayers have been answered, but I would ask people don't quit yet because it's still coming," McMaster said. "We're not out of the woods."

McMaster said Biden is "fully aware of the situation" and promised to provide whatever help is needed.

When asked to describe his working relationship with the president, McMaster said Biden has been "helpful and cooperative."

"When there's a hurricane, there's no politics involved there," he said. "And everybody agrees that we want to keep everyone safe."

He also said Biden told him South Carolina "is a beautiful place."

"And, of course, I agreed 100% with that," McMaster said.

Power Outages Climb in South Carolina

Hurricane Ian is set to make landfall in South Carolina soon.

Coastal areas are already feeling the impacts of the storm, as roadways are flooded from storm surge and heavy rainfall.

Two to seven feet of storm surge is expected along the entire South Carolina coast and officials are anticipating flooding to get worse this afternoon, making roads impassible.

The high winds and rough currents are trapping storm surge water inland, Governor Henry McMaster said during a press briefing Friday.

High winds ranging from 50 to 80 mph have already been reported, but gusts up to 90 mph are expected, the National Weather Service said at the briefing.

A tornado watch has been issued for parts of northeast South Carolina, as well as much of the eastern part of North Carolina.

The winds have down several trees and powerlines already. The South Carolina Department of Transportation said 200 downed trees have already been cleared.

Power outages continue to increase across the state. At 10:30 this morning, there were 32,927 outages. That number has jumped up to over 69,000 by noon. Crews are ready to restore powerlines when conditions are safe to do so.

According to PowerOutage.us, there are 118,546 customers without power in eastern South Carolina as of 1:22 p.m.

While there is water on roadways, there are no major closures yet.

The state Emergency Management Division has already responded to some mission requests that include debris clean up, high water vehicle requests and rescues.

No fatalities have been reported at this point, but McMaster urges all residents to be safe and avoid leaving their homes or driving during the storm.

McMaster said human error is the "deadliest thing we have," warning miscalculations and carelessness could lead to fatalities during and after the storm.

Five shelters have been opened across the state. There are currently 119 people in shelters, which is about 15 percent capacity.

Video Shows Flooding in Downtown Charleston

Videos shared Friday on social media showed intensifying weather conditions impacting Charleston, South Carolina, as the city's downtown area began flooding ahead of Hurricane Ian's arrival.

One video shared by a reporter with WCBD-TV showed floodwater levels climbing, with roads already hidden from view. An emergency vehicle making its way through the area showed the water level reached a few inches up the vehicle's tires.

Another video shared by a reporter with WCSC-TV showed choppy water at the Charleston Harbor rocking boats that were still on the water's surface.

LIVE: Conditions in Myrtle Beach

Conditions are rapidly deteriorating in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina as Hurricane Ian moves in.

The EarthCam Live shows storm surge, strong wind and rain along the coast.

Second Drowning Death Reported in Volusia County

Another fatality has been reported in Volusia County, Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

"A New Smyrna Beach-area man lost his life Thursday night after he fell and was unable to escape rising floodwaters in his home," the Volusia Sheriff's Office said in a statement Friday.

The 67-year-old victim and his wife were on a list to be rescued by high-water crews, the sheriff's office said. But before the rescue crew arrived, "the victim fell inside the home and could not get up before the water level rose over him."

"Heavy floods saturated the area," authorities said, adding that water levels were about waist-high.

Deputies has to respond in a high-water vehicle because the areas was inaccessible by standard patrol vehicles.

"Rescuers performed life-saving measures but were unable to revive the victim," the sheriff's office said, adding that he was pronounced deceased on scene.

His wife and two dogs in the house were taken to a storm shelter. A third dog was recovered from the home and transported it to an animal shelter.

WATCH: SC Governor McMaster Holds Briefing

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster will hold a press conference soon, as Hurricane Ian moves closer to the state.

McMaster and state emergency management officials are scheduled to speak Friday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Watch live here or below.

Tide Covers South Causeway on Pawleys Island

Videos show flooding, rain and wind on Pawleys Island, South Carolina, as Hurricane Ian moves toward the state.

"Tide has covered the South Causeway all the way to Wyndham Drive," Pawleys Island PD tweeted early Friday afternoon.

"Causeways are now closed onto Pawleys Island. Please be careful out there. Winds at Winyah Bay reading at 80+ mph gusts."

Flights Resume at Orlando Airport

The Orlando International Airport (MCO) has reopened Friday following the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

Commercial flights were set to resume at 12 p.m., the airport said in a tweet.

"We're so happy to welcome our travelers once again into our airport," MCO said.

Several airlines are still "adjusting schedules to better accommodate their travelers," the airport said.

"Please make sure to reach out to your airline in regards to any travel plans, prior to your arrival at the airport, to ensure your flight is available," MCO added.

Lee County Without Water

Lee County is without water Friday after a water main break.

DeSantis said the county requested FEMA support and are currently working to assess the situation. Florida National Guard personnel are also on standby to provide assistance.

The governor said this issue may require a rebuild or just short-term mediation.

"That's clearly a top priority," DeSantis said.

Lee County is still under a boil water notice Friday following Hurricane Ian's landfall.

"All water used for drinking, cooking, making ice, brushing teeth or washing dishes must be kept at a rolling boil for one minute," the sheriff's office said.

"You can also disinfect by mixing eight drops of plain, unscented bleach into one gallon of water and let it stand for 30 minutes. Do it again if the water is still cloudy."

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Landfall in South Carolina Expected Soon

Hurricane Ian is now about 60 miles from Charleston, South Carolina as landfall is expected within hours between Charleston and the Myrtle Beach area.

The storm is approaching the coast for its third landfall with maximum sustained winds of 85 mph, according the the National Hurricane Center.

Wind gusts of 87 mph were recently reported at a weather station on Winyah Bay Range in South Carolina.

The entire South Carolina coast is under a Hurricane Warning, the NHC said.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 275 miles, the NHC reported.

According to the latest forecast, the center of the storm will reach the coast of South Carolina today before moving farther inland across eastern South Carolina tonight and to central North Carolina by Saturday.

The coast of South Carolina is already feeling the impact of the storm. The National Hurricane Center said "life-threatening storm surge and damaging winds" are expected.

Two to seven feet of storm surge is forecasted for South Carolina's coast. Storm surge and flooding has already hit Pawley Island. Local police reported over 80 mph winds on the island ahead of landfall.

Four to six inches of rainfall is expected in South Carolina, with some areas expecting up to 12 inches. This is expected to cause widespread flooding. The Myrtle Beach area may also see tornados.

A Storm Surge Warning has been issued for Savannah River to Cape Fear North Carolina, Neuse River North Carolina and St. Johns River Florida.

North of Cape Fear to Duck North Carolina, the Pamlico River and the Cape Fear River are under a Storm Surge Watch.

A Hurricane Warning has been issued for the Savannah River to Cape Fear North Carolina.

East of Cape Fear to Surf City North Carolina is under a Hurricane Watch.

A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for the Altamaha Sound Georgia to Savannah River, Cape Fear to Duck North Carolina and the Pamlico Sound.

WATCH: Biden Latest on Federal Response

UPDATE: As of noon, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are attending a reception to celebrate the Jewish New Year. Biden is still expected to provide an update on Ian, but a time was not provided.

President Joe Biden will provide an update soon on the latest federal response efforts in the wake of Hurricane Ian.

Biden is schedule to speak Friday at 11:30 a.m. ET from the Roosevelt Room. Watch live here or below.

Search Ongoing for 17 Migrants After Boat Sank

Two days after a vessel containing migrants sank off the coast of Florida amid Hurricane Ian's approach, officials say search efforts to find the missing individuals are ongoing.

Seventeen migrants were still missing as of Friday morning, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

On Wednesday, Chief Patrol Agent Walter Slosar with the U.S. Border Patrol said the vessel was attempting to land at Stock Island but sank "due to inclement weather." Four Cuban migrants were able to make it to shore, but officials said 23 others were missing.

By Thursday morning, the Coast Guard said nine Cuban migrants had been located and rescued. On Friday morning, the Coast Guard said a deceased body was located near Ocean Edge Marina as the search for 17 other migrants continued.

Florida Reopens 800 Bridges

Roads across southwest Florida are still being cleared of debris following Hurricane Ian's landfall.

The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has over 1,300 people on the ground to work on roadways and bridges.

The governor said traffic is flowing "better than anticipated" after such a powerful storm.

DeSantis also said the state's fuel supply is flowing. Disruptions are possible if individual gas stations do not have power, he said. Some larger gas stations are required to have generators and are still operational.

About 800 bridges across the state have been reopened after inspection. Structures leading to Pine Island and Sanibel will require major rebuilding efforts, DeSantis said.

The Sanibel Causeway suffered substantial destruction due to storm surge. DeSantis said there were major breaks on the thoroughfare on the sandbar that got "washed out" during the storm.

"Sanibel is destruction," DeSantis said. "It got hit with really biblical storm surge and it washed away roads, it washed away structures."

Officials are running barges to bring heavy equipment to the island to help first responders. DeSantis said air rescue crews on the island have been "traveling lighter" in order to transport as many people as possible.

Nearly 2M Customers Still Without Power in Florida

Just under 2 million customers are still without power in Florida Friday morning.

According to PowerOutage.us, there are 1,958,321 customers still experiencing power outages across the state.

In Hardee County, 99 percent of customers are without power. About 85 percent of customers are without power in Lee and Charlotte Counties and 80 percent without power in DeSoto County. Nearly half of Collier, Hendry, Glades and Sarasota Counties is still without power.

Here are the latest outage numbers per county:

  • Collier: 145,930 customers
  • Hendry: 8,295 customers
  • Lee: 402,091 customers
  • Charlotte: 107,408 customers
  • Sarasota: 158,530 customers
  • DeSoto: 15,048 customers
  • Hardee: 9,494 customers
  • Manatee: 105,217 customers
  • Highlands: 60,225 customers
  • Glades: 3,527 customers
  • Polk: 131,221 customers
  • Orange: 137,668 customers
  • Okeechobee: 7,749 customers
  • Pinellas: 96,235 customers
  • Hillsborough: 137,352 customers
  • Volusia: 194,575 customers
  • Flager: 25,150 customers
  • Seminole: 93,044 customers

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis said there were six healthcare facilities that were evacuated in Southwest Florida due to issues with water and power.

He said 117 healthcare facilities that lost power now have those functions restored. Over 42,000 linemen and personnel are on the ground working to restore power, DeSantis said.

Florida Reports 21 Deaths, 700 Rescues

Florida officials have reported 21 fatalities in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian.

During a press briefing Friday morning, Florida Division of Emergency Management Director Kevin Guthrie said there is one confirmed death in Polk County, 12 unconfirmed deaths in Charlotte County and eight unconfirmed deaths in Collier County. Lee County is still assessing reports.

Local officials are working to determine if the 20 unconfirmed deaths are related to the storm.

Guthrie warned these numbers could rise as search and rescue efforts continue across southwest Florida.

Search and rescue teams visited 3,000 homes in the hardest hit areas, Florida Governor DeSantis said. There have been 700 confirmed rescues.

The state contacted 20,000 people who filled out the shelter-in-place survey. DeSantis said 10,000 people responded and said they are safe.

Rescue teams will move more inland today, DeSantis added.

The governor did not provide the number of residents still missing. He said any missing persons reports will come from local governments and sheriff's offices.

Fort Myers Beach is 'Impassable'

Fort Myers Beach, Florida is "impassable" after Hurricane Ian tore through the area, the Lee County Sheriff's Office said Friday.

Officials issued a warning to avoid the island for safety reasons.

"We understand you have loved ones on the island," the sheriff's office wrote in a Facebook post. "Please understand it's not safe to drive onto the island. Bicycles cannot even make it through clear pathways. We'll keep you updated on when it's safe to travel on the island."

Fort Myers Beach is impassable. We hear you. We understand you have loved ones on the island. Please understand it’s not safe to drive onto the island. Bicycles cannot even make it through clear...

Flamingos Ride Out Hurricane Ian in Bathroom

Flamingos in St Petersburg, Florida, rode out Hurricane Ian inside a bathroom.

The birds were being kept at the city's Sunken Gardens, which have been home to a variety of tropical animals since opening in 1911.

The Sunken Gardens tweeted a photo of their flamingos in a bathroom, with food and water provided in large bowls.

They said: "We're hunkered down! Our animals are safe w/staff on site to see them through the storm.

"The flamingos are having a hurricane party in the bathroom; eating, drinking, & dancing. Stay safe out there!"

Carolinas to See 'Life-Threatening' Conditions By This Afternoon

The Carolinas have been warned to expect a "life-threatening storm surge and hurricane conditions" this afternoon by the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

As Ian makes its way towards the mainland United States for a second time, South Carolina and southern parts of North Carolina have been put on alert.

The NHC tweeted: "Tropical-Storm-Force Winds Ongoing Across Much of the Coast of The Carolinas. Life-Threatening Storm Surge and Hurricane Conditions Expected By This Afternoon."

A hurricane warning is in place for South Carolina and the southeastern most portion of North Carolina.

A separate hurricane watch is in place for those parts of North Carolina not covered by the warning.

Daytona International Speedway Parking Lot Flooded

Daytona International Speedway, home of NASCAR's prestigious Daytona 500 race, has been flooded by Hurricane Ian.

Video posted by Fox 35 Orlando reporter Vicki Karr shows the stadium surrounded by a lake of flood water.

Situated on Florida's east coast, Daytona Beach was badly hit by the hurricane.

On Thursday a video was posted online by WESH 2 News showing a building in the city having its roof almost completely torn off.

Photos, Videos Show Damage in Fort Myers

Photos and videos from Fort Myers reveal the destruction caused by Hurricane Ian, which smashed into the Florida city on Wednesday.

One image shows dozens of wrecked mobile homes, some with their roofs partially blown off, with debris scattered around the ground.

In another a completely flooded trailer park is seen, with flood water having turned the surrounding gardens and roads into a giant lake.

Jared Moskowitz, who was the former director of Florida's Division of Emergency Management, shared a video showing some of the damage online.

Former news reporter Devin Turk posted a clip showing the sea had all but merged with downtown Fort Myers.

Residents of 9 Florida Counties Eligible for FEMA Aid

People living in any of nine Florida counties that have been designated "disaster areas" are now eligible for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance.

The counties covered are Charlotte, Collier, DeSoto, Hardee, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Pinellas and Sarasota.

President Biden issued an emergency declaration for Florida on Thursday, after Hurricane Ian struck, unlocking federal support.

Those eligible can apply for FEMA aid through DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling 1-800-621-3362.

You will need to provide your social security number, insurance details, bank account information and income level.

To quality either you, or someone in your household, must be a "U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien."

President Biden Warns of 'Substantial' Loss of Life

President Biden warned Hurricane Ian is likely to have caused a "substantial" loss of life.

He made the comment on Thursday, following a briefing from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The President said: "I spoke with the commissioners, and they are worried."

At least 12 people across Florida are confirmed to have died in the storm, including seven in the western state of Charlotte County.

On Thursday Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno warned "fatalities are in the hundreds," during an appearance on Good Morning America.

He added: "I can't give a true assessment until we're actually on scene assessing each scene. And we can't access, that's the problem."

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis later said this figure had not been confirmed.

Sanibel Causeway Destruction Leaves Sanibel Island Cut Off

Sanibel Causeway, the only physical connection between Sanibel Island and the cities of Cape Coral and Fort Myers, was destroyed by Hurricane Ian.

Photographs taken from the scene show part of the west Florida causeway has completely collapsed into the sea.

At least five stretches of the causeway are now impassible, according to CNN.

Sanibel Mayor Holly Smith told CNN at least two people were killed on Sanibel Island by the hurricane, with another 12 injured.

Around 200 households had ignored warnings to evacuate ahead of the storm, according to Smith.

In a video posted on Twitter, Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno spoke about seeing the impacts firsthand.

"We are devastated," Marceno said in the tweet. "Our hearts go out to every resident who is impacted. The Lee County Sheriff's Office is mobile and will stop at nothing to help our residents."

Storm Surge Warning For Florida, Georgia and Carolinas

In an update at 5am EDT on Friday, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) has warned of the impacts of Hurricane Ian in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, as the storm moves north and continues to pose a real threat to life.

"There is a danger of life-threatning storm surge today along the coasts of northeast Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas within the Storm Surge Warning areas."

They add that hurricane-force winds are expected along the coasts of South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina on Friday afternoon.

The NHC has advised residents to follow the advice of local officials, and says preparations for the storm's impact "should be rushed to completion."

The update adds that flooding will continue to impact Florida across the next week, as well as the affected areas of the Carolinas and Virginia.