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Worst of Ian bypasses Bulloch
Area sees minimal damage, sporadic power outages
A sign fronts an empty parking lot on a mostly deserted Georgia Southern University campus after it was shut down Thursday afternoon and all of Friday as a precaution against the potential tropical storm effects from Hurricane Ian.
A sign fronts an empty parking lot on a mostly deserted Georgia Southern University campus after it was shut down Thursday afternoon and all of Friday as a precaution against the potential tropical storm effects from Hurricane Ian. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT/staff

(Note: Out of caution due to earlier forecasts of Hurricane Ian affecting the Bulloch County, the Statesboro Herald moved its deadline to noon Friday. Please go to statesboroherald.com for any late updates.)


With Hurricane Ian moving further east and north, Bulloch County avoided the most severe effects from the storm, but gusty winds created hazardous conditions and caused sporadic power outages throughout the area.

“It certainly seems like we caught a break locally with Ian,” said Bulloch Public Safety/Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Wynn Friday morning. “We will close down the Emergency Operations Center in the early afternoon and be grateful.”

Wynn said between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning there were eight trees that fell onto county roads that needed to be cleared, but no other damage was reported.

Residents in various parts of the area saw power go out for several hours overnight. But, as of Friday at 10 a.m., the Georgia Power outage map showed two small areas in southern Bulloch with less than 15 customers affected. The Excelsior EMC outage map showed one customer with no power.

Wynn cautioned area residents that while Ian proved not to be the weather threat first forecast to the area, to “not let your guard down.”

“I consider these next few weeks peak hurricane season for us,” Wynn said. “So watch the Gulf, make sure your disaster kit is complete and listen for updates.”


Coastal area expected to see worst of storm

A revived Hurricane Ian set its sights on South Carolina's coast Friday and the historic city of Charleston, 

On Friday morning in Charleston, powerful wind gusts bent tree branches and sent sprays of steadily falling rain sideways. Streets in the 350-year-old city were largely empty, an ordinarily packed morning commute silenced by the advancing storm.

With winds holding at 85 mph the National Hurricane Center's update at 8 a.m. Friday forecast a “life-threatening storm surge” and hurricane conditions along the Carolina coastal area later Friday.

The hurricane warning stretched from the Savannah River to Cape Fear, with flooding likely across the Carolinas and southwestern Virginia, the center said. The forecast predicted a storm surge of up to 7 into coastal areas of the Carolinas, and rainfall of up to 8 inches.

National Guard troops were being positioned in South Carolina to help with the aftermath, including any water rescues. And in Washington, President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for the state, a needed step to speed federal assist for recovery once Ian passes.


Devastation in Florida

Ian had come ashore Wednesday on Florida's Gulf Coast as a monstrous Category 4 hurricane, one of the strongest storms ever to hit the U.S. It flooded homes on both the state's coasts, cut off the only road access to a barrier island, destroyed a historic waterfront pier and knocked out electricity to 2.6 million Florida homes and businesses — nearly a quarter of utility customers. Some 2.1 million of those customers remained in the dark days afterward. 

At least six people were confirmed dead in Florida, including two who died Thursday afternoon when their car hydroplaned and overturned in a water-filled ditch in north Florida's Putnam County, while three other people were reported killed in Cuba after the hurricane struck there on Tuesday.

In the Fort Myers area, the hurricane ripped homes from their slabs and deposited them among shredded wreckage. Businesses near the beach were completely razed, leaving twisted debris. Broken docks floated at odd angles beside damaged boats. Fires smoldered on lots where houses once stood.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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