Ian restrengthens to hurricane status as it bears down on Georgia, Carolinas

ATLANTA — Hurricane Ian strengthened back into a Category I storm Thursday afternoon as it moved over the Atlanta Ocean.

The storm that brought widespread destruction to Florida and killed at least 9 people is now taking aim for the Georgia/South Carolina coast.

Ian slammed Florida’s west coast as a massive Category 4 storm on Wednesday afternoon. The area of Fort Myers sustained devastating damage before the storm moved over central Florida, dumping rain over Orlando and Jacksonville.

The storm moved out over the Atlantic Thursday afternoon. Hurricane Ian is expected to bring life-threatening storm surge to Georgia and South Carolina’s coasts starting Friday afternoon. Metro Atlanta will likely see some gusty winds.

Severe Weather Team 2 is going over the latest data and storm track, throughout the day on Channel 2 Action News.

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8:40 p.m.

Current tracking shows Ian approaching the coast of South Carolina on Friday with the center moving inland across the Carolinas Friday night and Saturday.

5 p.m.

Ian has restrengthened to a Category 1 hurricane as it bears down on the Georgia coast.

3:05 p.m.

A wind advisory has been issued in Georgia ahead of Hurricane Ian.

2:50 p.m.

At least 7 people are dead in Florida after Hurricane Ian slammed the state.

2:46 p.m.

All Fulton County Board of Health offices will close at are closing at 1 p.m. on Friday in preparation for Hurricane Ian.

2:25 p.m.

Most school districts on the Georgia coast are closing Thursday and Friday, including Bryan, Bulloch, Effingham, Evans, Glynn, Jasper, Liberty, Long, McIntosh, Screven, Tattnall, Toombs, Ware and Wayne counties.

Georgia Southern, Savannah State, Savannah College of Arts and Design, Coastal College of Georgia and Saint Leo University are all also closing or going virtual.

12:58 p.m.

More than 1,700 people are without power in Gwinnett County.

11:42 a.m.

The Georgia Department of Transportation has closed the Sidney Lanier Bridge over the Brunswick River due to potentially high winds.

8 a.m.

Hurricane Warnings for the Georgia coastal counties have been downgraded to Tropical Storm Warnings. A storm surge warning and hurricane watch remain in effect for the coast with potential for 4-6 feet peak storm surge.

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Locally, a wind advisory is in effect Thursday along and south of I-85 for wind gusts up to 35 mph.