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A hurricane warning has been issued for the South Carolina coast, in anticipation of new impacts from Tropical Storm Ian.

The storm is expected to restrengthen into a hurricane as it passes into the Atlantic off the coast of Florida, and will bring hurricane-force winds, severe rain and storm surge to the South Carolina coast, according to the National Hurricane Centre (NHC).

Residents have been encouraged to complete preparations as soon as possible. The storm is forecast to make landfall in the state on Friday as a Category 1 hurricane.

Parts of South Carolina could see up to seven feet (two metres) of storm surge, along with up to 12 inches (30 centimetres) of rain and heavy winds, NHC warns. Wind speeds in some areas could reach up to 110 miles per hour (177 kilometres per hour).

The North Carolina and Georgia coasts are under Tropical Storm warnings, as the outer edges of the storm will likely bring severe weather to the area.

The storm system is forecast to move inland over the weekend as a tropical depression, bringing heavy rains to Appalachian North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky.

School districts across South Carolina have shifted to online learning or early dismissal on Thursday as the area prepares for the storm, according to the state government. In addition, government offices in coastal Charleston and Beaufort counties have closed.

Hurricane Ian brought widespread devastation to Florida after hitting the Gulf Coast as a strong Category 4 storm. At least six deaths in the state have so far been reported, including five in Lee County, home to the cities of Fort Myers and Cape Coral.

This is a breaking story, more to follow

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