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Ian became a hurricane again Thursday evening after hammering Florida with heavy rains and powerful winds, leaving a rising death toll and thousands of residents desperately seeking rescue from the effects of one of the most devastating storms in U.S. history.

The large system, which had been downgraded to a tropical storm on its way out of Florida and into the Atlantic ocean, is expected to head toward the Carolinas and Georgia. Ian’s sustained winds increased to 85 mph late Thursday and it could bring “life-threatening flooding, storm surge and strong winds” to those states, the National Hurricane Center said

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said the storm caused a “500-year flooding event” and said Coast Guard helicopters were plucking trapped residents from the roofs of homes. Communities across the state were or will be swamped by the overwhelming waters, he said.



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