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Hurricane Ian’s U.S. death toll rose to at least 32 people Saturday as rescue crews in Florida painstakingly searched for survivors and the Carolinas began assessing the damage in the aftermath of one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the nation.

As of Saturday, more than 1,000 people had been rescued along Florida’s southwestern coast, said Daniel Hokanson, head of the National Guard.

Of the 32 people confirmed dead, 28 were from Florida. Four people died in North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper said Saturday.

Now a post-tropical cyclone, Ian churned northward Saturday across central North Carolina after hammering the coast of South Carolina and devastating swaths of Florida.

Power was knocked out for over 300,000 customers in North Carolina and almost 100,000 in Virginia as of Saturday morning, according to poweroutage.us.

In South Carolina, almost 60,000 people were still without power after Ian toppled trees and flooded roadways.

Meanwhile, over 1.2 million people remained without power in Florida as officials assessed the damage and continued search and rescue efforts. The storm left a broad trail of destruction in the state, flooding areas on both of its coasts, tearing homes from their slabs and demolishing beachfront businesses.

President Joe Biden said Friday that Hurricane Ian is “likely to rank among the worst in the nation’s history” and Florida will take “months – years – to rebuild.”

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Latest developments:

►In South Carolina near Myrtle Beach, the end of the Pawleys Island pier collapsed and was floating as Ian made landfall, according to a Twitter post from the Pawleys Island Police Department.


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