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Ian Crosses Florida, Expected to Turn Back Towards South Carolina Coast

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Tropical Storm Ian continues its march into the Atlantic, before it is expected to turn northwest towards the South Carolina coast.

By the time Ian makes landfall again, sometime tomorrow and likely on the South Carolina coast, it will probably be Hurricane Ian again, according to forecasters with the National Hurricane Center.

"Right now, our estimate of the maximum winds is about 70 mph, so already just shy of hurricane intensity," said Michael Brennan is the Acting Deputy Director of the National Hurricane Center. ", We're forecasting Ian to become a hurricane overnight tonight and be a hurricane as it approaches the coast of South Carolina on Friday."

The storm’s projected track shows it moving primarily through the Carolinas, and much of the heaviest rain could pass the Athens area to the east. However, the area could see gusty winds. Brennan says that tropical storm-force winds extend more than 400 miles from Ian's center.

Those winds won’t be anywhere near as destructive as those that hit southwest Florida on Thursday, however.

"It's probably better if the winds do increase to stay inside, because of damage to people and to property from things falling over, blowing down, could be up," said John Knox, a professor in the University of Georgia Geography Department. "But not like buildings falling down or anything like that - more like tree branches."

A wind advisory is in effect for our area until 8:00 PM Friday. As of mid-afternoon, forecasters were predicting rain to enter the area tomorrow afternoon.

Martin Matheny is WUGA's Program Director and a host and producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters.' He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on WUGA and GPB Classical. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.
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