(KYMA, KECY/ NBC News) - President Biden declared an emergency in South Carolina early Friday and ordered federal assistance to supplement state and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions from Hurricane Ian.
Hurricane Ian strengthened overnight as it barreled towards South Carolina's coast early Friday morning after pounding parts of Florida on Wednesday and Thursday where it left at least a dozen people dead, knocked out power for millions and devastated communities across the state.
The hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm on Thursday, but strengthened again into a hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 85 miles per hour and higher gusts - according to the National Hurricane Center.
As of early Friday, the storm was about 145 miles southeast of the South Carolina's port city of Charleston and was moving northeast at 9 miles per hour.
While Ian is expected to hit the coast of the Carolinas later in the day, it isn't clear when and where exactly it will make landfall.
The NHC has warned of the possibility of "life-threatening storm surge and hurricane conditions" along the Carolina coast.
Flooding rains are also likely across the Carolinas and southwestern Virginia.