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Latest News in James Island, SC

Growing Hurricane Ian barrels toward South Carolina coast

While Florida emergency personnel assess the devastation in the state, a restrengthened Hurricane Ian targeted a new landfall in South Carolina.As of the National Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m. advisory, the Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds up to 85 mph was located about 145 miles south-southeast of Charleson, S.C. and 225 miles south-southwest of Cape Fear, N.C. moving north-northeast at 9 mph.“A turn toward the north with an increase in forward speed is expected this morning, followed by a turn toward the nort...

While Florida emergency personnel assess the devastation in the state, a restrengthened Hurricane Ian targeted a new landfall in South Carolina.

As of the National Hurricane Center’s 5 a.m. advisory, the Category 1 hurricane with sustained winds up to 85 mph was located about 145 miles south-southeast of Charleson, S.C. and 225 miles south-southwest of Cape Fear, N.C. moving north-northeast at 9 mph.

“A turn toward the north with an increase in forward speed is expected this morning, followed by a turn toward the north-northwest by tonight,” said NHC senior hurricane specialist Robbie Berg. “On the forecast track, the center of Ian will approach and reach the coast of South Carolina today, and then move farther inland across eastern South Carolina and central North Carolina tonight and Saturday.”

Its hurricane-force winds extend out extend outward up to 70 miles while the massive storm still has tropical-storm-force winds out to about 485 miles.

A storm surge warning remains in effect from the Flagler-Volusia county line in Florida up to Cape Fear as well as the St. Johns River in Florida and Neuse River in North Carolina. A hurricane warning is in effect from the Savannah River to Cape Fear with a tropical storm warning in effect from the Altamaha Sound in Georgia to the Savannah River and from Cape Fear north to Duck, N.C. and Pamlico Sound. A hurricane watch is in place from East of Cape Fear to Surf City, North Carolina.

“Tropical storm conditions are occurring in parts of the warning areas on the coasts of Georgia and the Carolinas, and hurricane conditions are expected to begin in the hurricane warning area in South Carolina and southeastern North Carolina by this afternoon,” Berg said. “Hurricane conditions are possible within the hurricane watch area in North Carolina by this afternoon.”

A sustained wind of 38 mph and gust to 52 mph were recently reported at the Hilton Head Airport in South Carolina whule an elevated WeatherFlow station at the Winyah Bay Range Light in South Carolina measured a sustained wind of 49 mph and a gust to 71 mph during the past couple of hours, the NHC said.

“Little change in strength is expected before Ian reaches the coast later today,” Berg said. “Rapid weakening is expected after landfall, and Ian is forecast to become an extratropical low over North Carolina tonight or on Saturday. The low is then expected to dissipate by Saturday night.”

The storm surge threat, which walloped Florida’s Gulf Coast as a Category 4 hurricane and surges of more than 15 feet in places on Wednesday is not as intense for the Carolina coast with only 4-7 feet expected from Edisto Beach to Little River Inlet and lower surges in surrounding areas.

Flooding, which is still rampant across the Florida peninsula which saw near 20 inches of rain in some places, is more of a concern for the Southeast Coast.

The hurricane is forecast to drop 4- inches with some areas getting as much as 12 inches in northeast South Carolina and 3-6 inches with maximums of 8 inches across northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia.

“Major to record river flooding will continue across Central Florida through next week,” Berg said. “Considerable flash and urban flooding, and minor river flooding is possible across coastal and northeast South Carolina today. Locally considerable flash, urban, and small stream flooding is possible today into Saturday across portions of northwest North Carolina and southwest Virginia. Limited flooding is possible across portions of the southern Mid-Atlantic this weekend.”

The hurricane also poses a tornado risk on its path. Outer bands from Ian spawned several tornadoes during its march across the Florida peninsula.

Waves along the coast from Florida north to the mid-Atlantic and in the Bahamas are a risk as well.

“These swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip current conditions,” Berg said.

Hurricane Ian grew quickly on Wednesday morning into a major hurricane with winds up to 155 mph as it tormented Florida’s Gulf Coast before making landfall in the afternoon in Lee County near Fort Myers and Punta Gorda in a similar path to Hurricane Charley in 2004.

It dropped intensity as it moved into Central Florida remaining at hurricane strength until Thursday morning in Osceola County, but regained hurricane strength once it exited the state off of Cape Canaveral and has intensified more in the Atlantic.

The hurricane is already one of the most devastating to ever hit the U.S. as it flooded homes across the state, knocked out power to more than 2.6 million people and is blamed for multiple deaths.

The death toll could rise as rescue personnel make their way into the hardest hit areas in Lee and Charlotte counties.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at least 700 rescues, mostly by air, have been conducted so far and involving the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Guard and urban search-and-rescue teams.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ian could become a hurricane again before hitting the southern East Coast

Ian is exiting Florida as a tropical storm — but as it moves back over the water, it could regain hurricane status, drawing power from the Atlantic Ocean. Forecasters are warning of a dangerous storm surge and other impacts, from Florida to North Carolina."Some slight re-intensification is forecast, and Ian could be near hurricane strength when it approaches the coast of South Carolina on Friday," the National Hurricane Center ...

Ian is exiting Florida as a tropical storm — but as it moves back over the water, it could regain hurricane status, drawing power from the Atlantic Ocean. Forecasters are warning of a dangerous storm surge and other impacts, from Florida to North Carolina.

"Some slight re-intensification is forecast, and Ian could be near hurricane strength when it approaches the coast of South Carolina on Friday," the National Hurricane Center said early Thursday.

The new round of warnings for the Atlantic Coast comes as residents and emergency crews on the western side of the Florida peninsula take stock of the immense damage done by Ian's massive storm surge and high winds.

"Widespread, life-threatening catastrophic flash and urban flooding, with major to record flooding along rivers, will continue across central Florida," the hurricane center said.

As of 8 a.m. ET, Tropical Storm Ian's center was about 40 miles east of Orlando, Fla.

Ian currently has maximum sustained winds of 65 mph, with gusts as high as 70 mph (hurricane-strength winds begin at 74 mph). But as in western Florida, water poses the main threat: Ian will bring a storm surge, and it's heading northeast at only 8 mph, a slow pace that heightens the risk of flood-inducing rainfall.

A wide area will be under threat of flooding and high winds: Ian is now projecting tropical storm-force winds up to 415 miles from its center.

A hurricane watch — meaning hurricane conditions are possible within the area — is in effect along the coastline from Florida and Georgia into South Carolina, stretching from below Jacksonville, Fla., up past Charleston, S.C.

That same area is under warning of a life-threatening storm surge of up to 6 feet.

The current forecast track sees Ian moving out northeast over the ocean as it passes Jacksonville, before turning more to the northwest and making landfall between Savannah, Ga., and Charleston.

Tropical-storm-force winds will start affecting Georgia and South Carolina Thursday, the NHC said. Ian will make landfall on Friday as a strong tropical storm or hurricane, according to the National Weather Service office in Charleston.

The "1st round of coastal flooding" is expected to hit South Carolina with Thursday afternoon's high tide, the NWS office in Charleston reported. Additional flooding will likely continue through Friday, it warned.

Many areas along the coast could also see up to 8 inches of rain, the office said.

James Island Church working to rebuild one year after devastating fire

It was a lightning strike that caused the devastating fire at the church last September.JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - It’s been a challenging year for Fort Johnson Baptist Church on James Island after a massive fire essentially destroyed its sanctuary and adjoining classrooms.The church, however, has overcome multiple hurdles in the past 12 months and has started construction and rebuilding with the hope of having everything back open for the congregation in less than a year, church leaders say.It was a lightning str...

It was a lightning strike that caused the devastating fire at the church last September.

JAMES ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - It’s been a challenging year for Fort Johnson Baptist Church on James Island after a massive fire essentially destroyed its sanctuary and adjoining classrooms.

The church, however, has overcome multiple hurdles in the past 12 months and has started construction and rebuilding with the hope of having everything back open for the congregation in less than a year, church leaders say.

It was a lightning strike that caused the devastating fire at the church last September. That morning, fire engulfed the steeple as smoke poured from the building.

“By the time I got here, with stoplights and traffic, the roof had caved in, and everything was up in smoke,” Pastor Marty Middleton says.

The flames, smoke and water caused irreparable damage to the sanctuary and adjoining classrooms, he says.

“The insurance company and our construction team went back and forth on whether they should save the walls or tear it down and start over completely,” he says. “But because it was built so well back in the 60s, they were able to save the structure, which has its positives and its negatives.”

Since the fire, restoring the church has been a challenging project.

“We couldn’t get the moisture out,” Middleton says. “Mold covered the whole building. It ended up, as they’re doing the demolition, having asbestos in there. That whole process led to a gutting of the building.”

Those obstacles have been coupled with the need to upgrade facilities to meet new codes, tackle insurance snags and permitting, and maneuver supply and staffing shortages—all while services have continued at Fort Johnson Baptist.

“They had everything pulled together, that by the next Sunday, so three or four days later we were all sitting in church learning about the fire, grateful no one was hurt,” church member Jennifer Batliner says.

They’ve demolished the interior of the church, clearing everything out inside until just the exterior stands, Middleton says. They have also just started the construction and rebuilding process, installing plumbing and reconfiguring classrooms.

“We’re thinking we’ll be back in the classroom for January or February,” he says. “And then the sanctuary itself, probably the beginning of next summer is when we’ll be able open up the doors back there.”

Amid the construction and renovations, Batliner says she is counting down the days until she can walk through those doors and into the newly refurbished sanctuary.

“I think it’s going to feel like a homecoming — peaceful and a new beginning, but without losing the old,” she says.

A majority of the funds to rebuild the church have come from insurance, Middleton says, but tens of thousands of dollars have come from donations from the community, other churches and other groups.

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.

City of Charleston prepares for higher than usual flooding

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Emergency Management officials are advising neighbors to make plans before the flooding from Hurricane Ian comes to Charleston.The rainfall, tides and storm surge are all planned to contribute to a larger than usual flooding event.“The storm surge is going to push that tide in a little more an increase those water levels. So we know that there’s is going to be a little more flooding than normal,” said Ben Almquist, the Emergency Management Director for the City of Charleston.The...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- Emergency Management officials are advising neighbors to make plans before the flooding from Hurricane Ian comes to Charleston.

The rainfall, tides and storm surge are all planned to contribute to a larger than usual flooding event.

“The storm surge is going to push that tide in a little more an increase those water levels. So we know that there’s is going to be a little more flooding than normal,” said Ben Almquist, the Emergency Management Director for the City of Charleston.

The floods are expected to be come Thursday through Saturday as the storm passes through Charleston. Almquist says that families need to make plans to be safe now.

“The big thing is we want everybody to be cautious, don’t panic, be prepared and have a plan of how you’re going to take care of yourself and your loved ones,” said Almquist. “If you know that you’re in a low lying area take extra steps to care for your house and your property and get your loved ones to a safe area.”

As of Tuesday, the City of Charleston is coordinating with state and county level officials. They also are making sure they have enough supplies to get through the storm.

“We’re making sure that we have everybody who needs to be on hand,” said Almquist. “We’re working with area partners making sure any resources we might need are going to be available to us.”

On Tuesday water levels were lowered in Colonial Lake and Lake Dotterer as well as drain cleanings taking place.

A sandbag distribution will be held on Wednesday at various locations from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. People are asked to bring their own shovels and only take 10 sandbags per household.

Sandbag Distribution Locations

Self Service pick-up-

· Bee’s Landing Recreation Center, 1580 Ashley Garden Boulevard (West Ashley)

· Hampton Park parking lot on the corner of Ashley Avenue and Mary Murray Drive (Peninsula)

· Seven Farms Drive behind Governor’s Park Dog Park, Under I-526 (Daniel Island)

· Grace Bridge Street parking lot between America and East Bay streets (Peninsula)

Sandbag locations with town of James Island-

· James Island Town Hall, 1122 Dills Bluff Road (James Island)

School sports teams reschedule play ahead of Hurricane Ian impact in Coastal Georgia, Lowcountry

Several area sports events in Southeast Georgia and the South Carolina Lowcountry have been rescheduled due to the threat of bad weather associated with Hurricane Ian.More schools are expected to make changes after meetings early this week.Below are the games that have already been rescheduled. Hurricane Ian: Latest spaghetti models, maps and tracking storm's path to Georgia, South Carolina ...

Several area sports events in Southeast Georgia and the South Carolina Lowcountry have been rescheduled due to the threat of bad weather associated with Hurricane Ian.

More schools are expected to make changes after meetings early this week.

Below are the games that have already been rescheduled.

Hurricane Ian: Latest spaghetti models, maps and tracking storm's path to Georgia, South Carolina

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Want to share your game's updated time? Email us at news@wjcl.com.

Ian School Closings List: These are the campuses impacted in Coastal Georgia, Lowcountry

Tuesday

Girls golf at Hilton Head Dolphins golf course, 4 p.m.

Girls tennis at Hilton Head Prep, 4 p.m.

Hanahan High at Beaufort High, girls varsity and JV volleyball, 5:30 and 6 :30 p.m.

Lady's Island Middle football at Beaufort High stadium, 6 p.m.

Wednesday

Football

Cardinal Newman at John Paul II, 6:30 p.m.

Bluffton at Hilton Head Island, 7 p.m.

Philip Simmons at Beaufort, 7 p.m.

Beaufort at Philip Simmons JV football, 7 p.m.

Lucy Beckham at May River, 7 p.m.

Bethune Bowman at Whale Branch, 7p.m.

Palmetto Christian at Beaufort Academy, 6:30 p.m.

James Island at Colleton County, 7 p.m.

Bamberg-Ehrhardt at Estill, 7 p.m.

North Charleston at Battery Creek, 7:30 p.m.

Bryan County High at Montgomery County, 7:30 p.m.

Islands at Southeast Bulloch, 7 p.m.

Long County at Savannah Christian (Pooler Stadium), 7 p.m.

Beach at Savannah Country Day, 7 p.m.

Toombs County at Brantley County, 6:30 p.m.

Windsor Forest at Tattnall County, 7 p.m.

St. Andrew's at Robert Toombs, 6:30 p.m.

McIntosh County Academy at Atkinson County, 6:30 p.m.

Effingham County at Glynn Academy, 6 p.m.

Groves at Liberty County, 7:30 p.m.

Memorial Day at Edmund Burke Academy, 7:30 p.m.

Cross Country - Liberty County at Savannah Christian, Canceled

Thursday

Bethune-Bowman at Whale Branch, 7 p.m.

Pinewood Christian Academy at John Milledge, 6:30 p.m.

Dillon Christian at Thomas Heyward, 6 p.m.

Colleton Prep at Greenwood Christian, 6:30 p.m.

Jefferson County at Emanuel County Institute, 7:30 p.m.

Hilton Head Prep at Florence Christian, PPD

Volleyball - Frederica at Liberty County, Canceled

Volleyball - Southeast Bulloch at Wayne County, PPD

Softball - Savannah Christian at Liberty County, moved to Oct. 4 (DH)

Softball - Islands at Wayne County, PPD

Saturday, Oct. 1

Southeast Georgia Cheer Classic at Wayne County HS, PPD

Monday, Oct. 3

Bethesda at Orangeburg Prep, 6 p.m.

Hilton Head Christian at First Baptist, 7:30 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 14

Johnson at Calvary Day

Tuesday, Nov. 1

Burke County at Wayne County, 7 p.m.

Thursday, Nov. 3

Benedictine at New Hampstead (Pooler Stadium), 7 p.m.

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