A tornado watch has been issued for much of the Carolinas as South Carolina braces for impact from Hurricane Ian.
On Friday (September 30), the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch for most the entire eastern coast of North Carolina as well as parts of Virginia and South Carolina, including Myrtle Beach, WPDE reports. The watch will be in effect until at least 10 p.m. ET, with the potential for isolated wind gusts reaching up to 70 mph.
Hurricane Ian initially made landfall in Florida on Wednesday (September 28) as a powerful Category 4 storm. As it moved up the state, it weakened into a tropical storm. However, Ian was expected to pick up steam and strengthen into a hurricane once again as it prepares to make landfall on the coast of South Carolina on Friday.
Both Gov. Henry McMaster and Gov. Roy Cooper declared a state of emergency on Wednesday ahead of the storm's impact on the Carolinas.
"We do know we'll see a lot of rain and significant storm surge on our coastline over the coming days," said Gov. McMaster. "Now is the time for each South Carolinian to make plans for every contingency and be prepared."
Gov. Cooper echoed the need for preparation for people in North Carolina.
"North Carolinians should stay aware, keep a close eye on the forecast and prepare their emergency supplies," he said, adding, "The most serious concern that we have is flooding, particularly the more west it moves. We know the potential for landslides in the mountains, and we know from Tropical Storm Fred [in 2021] just devastation it can cause."